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Murder suspects get jail time.
NORTH BEND - The family of murdered North Bend cook Jorge Temblador-Topete, who worked at Arby's, are relieved that the two men prosecutors say are connected with at least two shooting deaths will be behind bars for a total of 71 years.
"We are very pleased it is going to be done and over with a lot quicker than we thought," said Jeannene Ramos, the cook's cousin-in-law.
"For what they did though, it seems like nothing is enough."
Temblador-Topete was in a car in Seattle's International District with four others last Sept. 24 when he was shot in the head.
Two Mount Si High School students who are sisters, ages 14 and 15, and a 20-year-old Fall City man in the car were also seriously injured by the gunfire. The girls' mother, also in the car, was uninjured. The five were on their way to a dance.
Prosecutors accused Emmanuel Grande-Martinez, 22, of firing the shots and Elmer Cisneros, 20, of driving the get-away car. Both men are from Renton.
Prosecutors believe the men were also involved in the murder of John Diklich the day before in a south Seattle neighborhood.
On Aug. 7, Grande-Martinez cut a deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in exchange for testifying against Cisneros. Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 41 years.
Upon hearing of the deal last Wednesday, Cisneros entered an Alford plea to one count of murder in the Diklich case and two counts of assault. An Alford plea means the defendant recognizes a jury is likely to find him guilty, although he does not admit guilt. A sentence of 29 1/2 years is being recommended.
"It is an exceptional outcome for very serious crimes," said King County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Dan Satterberg. "These are long sentences for dangerous offenders."
The advantage of a plea agreement was certain punishment for the offenders, Satterberg said. A trial could have posed problems, because many of the witnesses and both defendants belonged to gangs, he said.
The two men had been held in jail in lieu of $1 million bail each since their arrests last November.
Also under investigation is the murder of Ramon Estrada-Ocegeda in the South Park area Sept. 18.
Ramos, of Duvall, said Temblador-Topete was an innocent victim who did not have any gang connection. She said she'd contact his parents in Mexico to tell them about the pleas.
She said both the schoolgirls involved in the shooting were recovering well. Temblador-Topete moved to the United States three years ago to find a job and a better life.