What to Know
- A 31-year-old man faces a life sentence after being found guilty of the murder of a woman whose three children were later kidnapped.
- Alex Valdez was found guilty of one count of first-degree murder of Kimberly Harvill.
- Harvill was killed because she was a witness to a shooting by Valdez and a second man days earlier, officials said.
A 31-year-old man faces life in prison after being found guilty of the murder of a mother who was a witness to a shooting he and another man were involved in and whose three children were later kidnapped, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Sentencing was set March 1 for Alex Valdez who was convicted of killing Kimberly Harvill. Her body was found in August 2016 in a remote area of Gorman, authorities said.
Valdez and Joshua Robertson, 29, killed Harvill because she was a witness to a shooting in Fresno involving the two men that occurred days before her murder, prosecutors said.
Robertson and the victim's half-sister, Brittney Sue Humphrey, 24, kidnapped Harvill's children ages 5, 3 and 2 after she was killed, officials said.
The children were later found abandoned in a New Mexico motel by a good Samaritan who called police.
Humphrey and Robertson were arrested later in Colorado and Valdez was arrested in Fresno.
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In January, Robertson pleaded no contest to one count of first-degree murder, three counts of kidnapping, two counts of an unrelated arson and one count each of possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of flammable material. He was immediately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Humphrey pleaded no contest to three counts of kidnapping and was sentenced to 13 years in prison in September 2017.