20-year sentence for mistaken Washington state honor killing

AP News
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Posted: Mar 04, 2017 3:47 PM

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing an Oregon man he mistakenly believed impregnated a 13-year-old girl.

Yoset Dominguez-Serrano, 21, of Outlook, Washington, received the sentence Friday in Yakima County Superior Court, the Yakima Herald reported (http://bit.ly/2lqaYCz).

Dominguez-Serrano in January pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the February 2015 killing of Antonio Hernandez-Ledezma, 24, of Boardman, Oregon.

Dominguez-Serrano told police he believed Hernandez-Ledezma had impregnated Dominguez-Serrano's 13-year-old relative and killed the Oregon man to protect his family's honor. But DNA tests showed Hernandez-Ledesma wasn't responsible for the pregnancy.

"You honored no one," Judge Richard Bartheld told Dominguez-Serrano. "You dishonored your family by committing a heinous crime."

Yakima County sheriff's detectives say Dominguez-Serrano lured Hernandez-Ledezma to a meeting by pretending to be interested in buying his car.

Investigators later found the car abandoned with the front passenger window broken and blood on the passenger seat along with a spent bullet cartridge under the emergency brake lever.

In September 2015, a hiker found Hernandez-Ledezma's skeletal remains near an orchard. DNA tests confirmed they belonged to Hernandez-Ledezma.

Defense attorney Aaron Dalan said Dominguez-Serrano isn't a sophisticated criminal. "He believed he was acting, at least in his mind, to protect his family and the honor of his family," Dalan said.

Claudia Hernandez, Hernandez-Ledezma's sister, spoke with other family members in court about their loss. "I just want to say that he left a big family, a family that never got to say goodbye for the last time," Hernandez said.

Dominguez-Serrano faces deportation to Mexico once he completes his sentence.

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Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com