Walla Walla man pleads guilty in chase

Alejandro Martinez crashed into a fire hydrant during a chase in March.

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Alejandro Martinez, 18, of 532 N. Seventh Ave., pleaded guilty Monday afternoon to attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle and second-degree malicious mischief.

A third charge of second-degree attempted burglary will be dropped in exchange for his guilty pleas.

Walla Walla County Superior Court Judge John Lohrmann will sentence Martinez later. The prosecution is recommending the low end of the standard range, according to the plea agreement.

Police alleged that Martinez was the intended getaway driver in an attempted break-in about 3:10 a.m. March 6 at the Los Tapatios store, 114 S. Ninth.

An officer in a patrol vehicle saw two men -- including one who had a bandanna that had slipped down from around his face -- at the business' front door. Then both men started running toward a car that apparently was waiting for them in the alley, according to a police report filed in court.

Martinez, the driver, took off in the vehicle and the officer started the pursuit.

The Martinez vehicle traveled to Rose Street and then onto 13th Avenue -- which was closed for construction -- before striking a new fire hydrant and getting high-centered. Martinez was arrested, but the other two men got away.

Martinez, who allegedly frequents a local gang, told police he doesn't know who the men are. He said, "They just showed up at my house and asked me if I wanted to go and get some money," according to the police report.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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