Suspect extradited from Mexico pleads guilty to murder

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Gabriel Nevarez, 29, pleaded guilty on May 11 to murder in the first degree for the 2007 drive-by shooting that killed Kyle Grinnell, 21.

“Pulling this defendant into court took more than nine years and a lot of hard work,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “It doesn’t matter how long it takes or how far we have to go, we will hold violent criminals accountable and keep our community safe.”

During the afternoon of Feb. 21, 2007, Nevarez drove to Grinnell’s home on South Tyler Street looking to settle an old score with Juan Carlos Ruiz, 19. Nevarez arrived at the home and found Ruiz outside at the top of a stairway. Grinnell was below him about 20 feet away and in the line of fire between Nevarez’s car and Ruiz.

When the shooting started, witnesses heard gunfire coming from Nevarez’s car. He was hanging outside the driver’s side window with both hands on a silver .38 caliber revolver, firing toward the victim. Grinnell died at the scene. Ruiz, the apparent target, was not injured.

Nevarez, a U.S. citizen, was taken into custody without incident in February 2016, in Michoacan, Mexico, by the Policía Federal Ministerial, in close coordination with the FBI. Mexican authorities transferred Nevarez to FBI custody in Mexico City. FBI agents then brought Nevarez back to Washington.

The case is being handled by Deputy Prosecutor Greg Greer.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 29 at 8:30 a.m.

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