A drug dealer who gunned down a Tacoma man and hid in Mexico for nine years has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.
Gabriel Indelicio Nevarez, 29, entered the plea Friday. Pierce County prosecutors dismissed charges of first-degree assault and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
He is set to be sentenced June 29.
Nevarez faces 27 1/2 years to life in prison for killing Kyle Grinnell Feb. 21, 2007.
Grinnell was not the intended target. His friend, standing next to him on a sidewalk in front of a South Tyler Street apartment, was.
Police said Nevarez and the man had long-standing problems and Nevarez had been looking for him.
Windy Ware, who frequently bought methamphetamine from Nevarez, tried to curry favor with him by leading him to the man.
When Nevarez pulled up in a Cadillac, he pointed a handgun at the man and Grinnell and pulled the trigger.
Grinnell, who was power-washing the walk outside his apartment, was struck and later died of his wounds.
A witness behind Nevarez’s Cadillac jotted down the license plate and police tracked it to one of his relatives.
It took several years, but cold case detectives determined he was living in Mexico.
FBI agents arrested Nevarez in Michoacan, Mexico, in August 2016 and brought him back the Washington to stand trial.
Ware pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit drive-by shooting, was sentenced to two years, five months in prison and was released in 2010.
Nevarez has prior convictions for theft and second-degree possession of stolen property.
He was charged in 2004 with first-degree assault and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm for a shooting at a Tacoma school where a girl was shot in the leg.
Nevarez was eventually found mentally incompetent to stand trial and was released after six months in a community-based program.
He shot Grinnell two weeks later.