No Witnesses Meant Plea Deal In Wenatchee Baby's Death - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

No Witnesses Meant Plea Deal In Wenatchee Baby's Death

WENATCHEE, Wash. - Prosecutors say they were forced to plea-bargain with a man accused of killing a 10-month-old Wenatchee boy because witnesses apparently left town.

The Wenatchee World reports that 19-year-old Felipe Alvarez Jr. was initially charged with homicide by abuse and first-degree manslaughter in the death of Neftali Kai Garcia Jr. His trial was set to begin next Tuesday in Chelan County Superior Court. But prosecutors said they couldn't locate the child's mother and aunt, who were the only witnesses to the alleged abuse.

Without them, the case risked being thrown out of court for lack of evidence. So deputy prosecutor Roy S. Fore says he let Alvarez plead guilty this week to the lesser charge of third-degree assault on a child.

Alvarez was sentenced to three months in jail, but has been released with credit for time served since his arrest in June.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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