Walla Walla man sentenced in March police chase

Alejandro Martinez had already served most of the 90-day sentence he received.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man was sentenced this morning to 90 days in jail for leading police on a vehicle chase in the area of Ninth Avenue in March and striking a fire hydrant.

Alejandro Martinez, 18, of 532 N. Seventh Ave., was given credit for the 76 days he's already served in the County Jail. Superior Court Judge John Lohrmann converted the remaining 14 days to service on the Department of Corrections work crew.

The standard-range sentence Martinez faced is two to five months. In a plea agreement, the prosecution was recommending time-served.

Martinez also will have to pay $1,594 in restitution, plus other costs and fees.

Martinez is an admitted gang member and Lohrmann warned him about such activity. "You've got to get your head straightened around and live your life based on hard work and sweat, and not on gang affiliations or stealing," Lohrmann said.

Martinez pleaded guilty Monday to attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle and second-degree malicious mischief.

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 also initially was charged with second-degree attempted burglary, but that was dismissed in exchange for his guilty pleas.

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

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