Teen Who Caused Kent Police Officer's Death Sentenced To Less Than 4 Years

Kent Police Officer Diego Moreno was killed in the line of duty on July 22, 2018.

Seattle, WA – The teenager responsible for a reckless, high-speed pursuit that resulted in the death of Kent Police Officer Diego Moreno was sentenced to less than four years in juvenile prison on Nov. 15.

Emiliano Garcia, 17, was initially charged as an adult for the second-degree murder of Officer Moreno, and faced between 10 and 18 years in prison, KING reported.

He later entered into a plea agreement, and was sentenced as a juvenile.

On Nov. 15, the court ordered Garcia to remain in juvenile lockup until he is 21 years old.

Garcia was 16 years old when he and two other juvenile males opened fire in a crowded parking lot during a dispute at approximately 1:50 a.m. on July 22, 2018, KCPQ reported.

A Kent police officer heard the gunfire, and called backup to the area, KOMO reported at the time.

Witnesses at the scene told police that a red pickup was involved in the incident, and pointed the vehicle out to officers.

The driver, later identified as Garcia, failed to pull over and police began pursuing him westbound on State Road 516 at speeds of up to 95 miles per hour, KING reported.

At one point, the teen spun around and headed back towards the officers, according to KOMO.

Officer Moreno staged on State Road 516 near Reith Road, and attempted to deploy spike strips when another officer pursuing Garcia crashed into him.

The officer’s patrol vehicle then collided with three other vehicles in a nearby intersection.

The pursuit ended about a mile later, when the Garcia slammed the pickup into a car and rolled onto it’s top.

He then took off from the scene on foot with one of his passengers, but was apprehended later that day, The Seattle Times reported.

Officer Moreno died of his injuries, and a second officer was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, according to KOMO.

Officer Moreno, a 35-year-old married father of two young children, grew up in Venezuela, KCPQ reported.

“When I decided that I wanted to start a career in law enforcement, I looked at several agencies,” he told KIRO approximately three years ago. “Luckily, Kent was the first one to give me…an opportunity and I’m glad I took it.”

“I grew up in Venezuela, so a third-world country,” Officer Moreno explained. “Police culture is very different down there.”

He was part of the department’s civil disturbance unit/riot team, and was also a hostage negotiator, defensive tactics instructor, and helped new hires to learn the agency’s computer software programs, he told KIRO.

“[I’m] a fluent Spanish speaker so I get to assist our detective units a lot with translating for suspects [and] victims,” Officer Moreno explained. “We have a huge Hispanic population in the city of Kent and also in south King County, so I get to help out not only our agency, but other agencies as well.”

Officer Moreno said he received two commendations during his first six years with the department.

“[They] weren’t expected – they were appreciated,” he told KIRO. “At times, I felt like I didn’t deserve them because I was doing my job just like everybody else.”

Officer Moreno had been with the department for eight years at the time of his death.

His sister, Alejandra Moreno, addressed the court during Garcia’s sentencing hearing on Nov.15.

"My life shattered. I lost my best friend. l lost my big brother, and I lost my soulmate. My mom lost her only son and his kids lost their amazing father," Alejandra said, according to KING. “"Now, almost 16 months after his death, the silence of his absence is heartbreakingly deafening."

“I do not speak about my brother often, at least not at length,” she continued, according to KCPQ. “It’s mostly because I think I can’t possibly do him justice.”

Officer Moreno’s mother, Lizzie Lee, said her son went “above and beyond to make people feel appreciated,” KCPQ reported.

Garcia apologized to the fallen officer’s family during the hearing.

“I want you all to know that I never meant to hurt anyone,” he said. “I can’t imagine the pain and suffering I have inflicted on his family, his coworkers and many others.”

King County Superior Court Judge Sean O’Donnell told Garcia that the court has provided him with “a remarkable opportunity to turn a page,” KING reported.

“I hope you take advantage of that,” O’Donnell added.

The two passengers inside Garcia’s vehicle at the time of the high-speed chase later pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, The Seattle Times reported.

They were sentenced to 60 days in jail with credit for time served, followed by two years of probation.

Comments (42)
No. 1-23
Dutchuncle
Dutchuncle

WTH, is the DA another one of Soros' Plants? This little poc needed at LEAST 25 yr in an Adult Prison. Useless POC will never amount to anything other then a Peckerwood.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

“I grew up in Venezuela, so a third-world country,” Officer Moreno explained.

I want to hear more about Emiliano Garcia's background.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

Street gangs have been using these kids for years to do their killing. the Latin kings used to call them "shorties". Liberals are so clueless it infuriates me.

Debkk9
Debkk9

That little peckerhead should have been tried as an adult...

Just-My-Thoughts.
Just-My-Thoughts.

Fake apology...they let him out in 4 yrs. and he'll do it again and again. I hope the officers family sue the parents of this thug. He knew EXACTLY what he was doing, shooting into a crowd. What did he expect to happen? Button Busting pride for the family of this kid......disgusting.

PatriciaSperry
PatriciaSperry

It was a sad incident of a young police officer. I have seen many deaths of the youngsters just because of the reckless and high-speed driving. A few days before, my best friend and colleague working with me at https://leatherchase.com/ had involved into an accident badly. He reason was the high speed driving.

Marxest
Marxest

That's a true travesty of justice. This kid may not have actually did the physical harm that killed the officer, but he certainly played a part in the officers death. Anyone who plays a part in someones death should bear serious consequences. 4 years is a very light sentence for the kid, its way too light. But in the end, that's the punishment that the judge and jury decided to mete out. My deepest condolences to Officer Moreno's family. I'm sorry for their loss and I pray that his wife and children are looked after.

Finder1009
Finder1009

not nearly long enough of a sentence

bwardjr
bwardjr

The DA should be put behind bars! Besides causing the death of a police officers, he was shooting a gun into a crowd. That in itself should be attempted murder charge. So the punk will be bck out on the street in 3+ year from now so he can continue his gang activity. I'll bet if the DA has family and one of them was murdered by a 17 years old that he would be tried as an adult!

tkshields
tkshields

a liberal state, a liberal DA, a liberal jury and more likely a liberal judge

TrueAmerican
TrueAmerican

What a slap in the face to Officer Moreno's family. I thought it was going to say he was like 14 but 17, with a gun to boot?!! If that isn't a textbook case for Charing him as an adult idk what is!!! RIP Officer Moreno your life MATTERED. 🙏💙🇺🇸

Stratiotes
Stratiotes

Definitely a fake apology . . ." never meant to hurt anyone " ? This little criminal needs at least 20 years in prison . . .

gfc1963
gfc1963

Its amazing how these scumbags are aleays remorseful AFTER the crime they've comitted??!! Fuck him - he shoudl have got 20 years.

Gramercy
Gramercy

What do you mean "I never meant to hurt anyone?" You had the gun, you had the vehicle, you slid into the accident!!!! You clearly MEANT TO HURT WHOMEVER YOU WERE ABLE TO! You deserved to be tried as an adult..and sentence accordingly! I am saddened that 4 years is all the time that you are made to serve. It is repulsive to me...

Wish505
Wish505

Hopefully judges in the circuit court area will be replaced soon. We are gaining ground with the placement of competent judges being seated.

Gretagarbo
Gretagarbo

More plea deals - always plea deals. Liberals or just plain lazy D.A.'s and Judges. I'm so sick of it. Yes, we need more competent people being appointed and elected - people who want justice for the victims.

Stanracer
Stanracer

That'll learn him a leason and teach him right. Not. The making of a career criminal. Future gang member.😝👎

NFPD103
NFPD103

A sad and tragic story resulting in a shameful sentence handed down due to social justice sentencing and total lack of respect for victims of criminals. Sadly we will see more of this because we keep electing the enlightened liberal idiots as legislators,judges,prosecutors.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Sounds like Moreno was killed by a fellow officer. Sad story. Officer Moreno's life mattered regardless of why killed him.

OldVet
OldVet

No jury, plea deal!

Tfairley 1954
Tfairley 1954

What a dumb ASS DA.

BLMatters
BLMatters

RIP little brother.

Gap Filler
Gap Filler

A police officer was killed because of the direct actions of these knuckleheads and all they get is what amounts to a slap on the wrist. Where’s the justice in that for this decorated officers family?