Driver pleads no contest in Wash. tourists' deaths

AP News
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Posted: Jul 14, 2011 2:35 PM
Driver pleads no contest in Wash. tourists' deaths

A California man who told police he deliberately drove off a freeway to get attention from his ex-girlfriend has pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in the deaths of two tourists run down by his car

County prosecutors say 20-year-old Jerardo Iriarte could be sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. He entered the plea Wednesday and will be sentenced Aug. 17.

Authorities say Washington visitors Bruce and Marjorie Mallin were on a morning walk in October outside a Marie Callender's restaurant in Pismo Beach when Iriarte's Toyota Corolla veered off U.S. Highway 101 at 80 mph, went down an embankment and struck the couple.

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reports Iriarte wanted to get the attention of his ex-girlfriend, who was working at the restaurant.