Just found during our periodic check of open case files: A plea bargain in a crime that drew regional attention one afternoon last August, after an SUV was stolen from outside a Highland Park mini-mart with a baby in the back seat.
(8/27/14 photo by BETTINA HANSEN/THE SEATTLE TIMES, republished by permission)
25-year-old Estevan L. Sanchez pleaded guilty last week to auto theft and unlawful imprisonment – reduced from second-degree kidnapping – for stealing the vehicle from outside the Sea-Mart store at 16th and Holden last August 27th with a 10-month-old girl in the back seat. According to court documents from the plea bargain and from the original charges, the baby’s father ran into the store with the vehicle’s engine running, but the SUV was supposed to be locked and unable to be shifted out of “park.” Instead, Sanchez got in and drove it away even as the baby’s father ran out of the store and yelled for him to stop. 15 minutes later, the vehicle was found abandoned in White Center’s Greenbridge neighborhood, with the baby safe inside; Sanchez, a Highland Park resident, was found within the hour at 17th and Roxbury.
He already was wanted on warrants from a domestic-violence case in which he injured his girlfriend and her 11-year-old son, attacking her with a stun gun and knocking him down just before stealing her car.. As part of this plea agreement, Sanchez has pleaded guilty to reduced domestic-violence charges in that case too. In all, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is recommending 19.5 months in prison – a little over a year and a half – for Sanchez, who has been in jail for seven months since his August arrest. King County Superior Court Judge Monica Benton is scheduled to sentence him on April 17th. .