SEATTLE - Almost a year and a half after his death, the family and friends of beloved Kent Police Officer Diego Moreno have a little bit of closure.
The teenager who pleaded guilty to the crime that led to Moreno’s death was sentenced on Friday.
A King County Superior Court Judge accepted a plea deal for 17-year-old Emiliano Garcia.
Garcia, who pleaded guilty to second-degree felony murder, was sentenced to jail until he turns 21 years old.
With a picture of Moreno prominently displayed in court, the officer’s mother and sister took us back to Moreno’s empathetic beginning.
“He went above and beyond to make people feel appreciated,” his mother Lizzie Lee said.
Lee said her son was a rare breed with natural empathy at a young age who became a fierce protector of his sister Alejandra.
She also addressed the court during the sentencing hearing.
"On July 22, 2018, my life shattered. I lost my best friend. I lost my big brother. I lost my soulmate. My mom lost her only son,” sister Alejandra Moreno said.
Garcia admitted to leading Kent Police officers on a high-speed chase after he and two other boys opened fire in a parking lot during a dispute.
Moreno was deploying spike strips to stop Garcia’s vehicle when Moreno was tragically hit by another Kent Police Officer.
“His partners gave him CPR, I said 'Was he alive?' They said 'No, but we had to try,'” Lee said.
Garcia on Friday had a message for the family.
“I want you all to know that I never meant to hurt anyone. I can’t imagine the pain and suffering I have inflicted on his family, his coworkers and many others,” Garcia said.
Garcia’s sister also apologized to Moreno’s family.
“Please know we share the pain of your loss,” Brianna Garcia said.
It was the loss of a brave police officer. But above everything, loved ones say his wife and two kids were everything.
Moreno’s sister said it was heartbreaking that his kids would not know the exemplary person that was their father.
“I do not speak about my brother often, at least not at length. It’s mostly because I think I can’t possibly do him justice,” Alejandra said.