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Othello man pleads not guilty in double murder; trial set for March

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | February 5, 2021 1:00 PM

RITZVILLE — An Othello man in the U.S. illegally pleaded not guilty Friday in Adams County Superior Court in Ritzville to murdering two women in their Othello home Jan. 27.

Mauricio Nava-Garibay, 28, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Dora Elia Martinez, 57, and second-degree murder in the death of her daughter Guadalupe Martinez, 30, both of Othello. Both charges came with enhancements for domestic violence. A use of deadly weapon enhancement was included on Dora Martinez’s killing.

Nava-Garibay entered the plea in a video appearance before Adams County Superior Court Judge Stephen Dixon. Trial tentatively was set for March 23 in Ritzville.

Dixon declined a request from the Adams County Prosecutor’s Office to increase bail to $10 million. It remains at $1 million. Nava-Garibay is in the Adams County Jail, but U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement lodged an immigration detainer, which could result in his deportation.

Adams County Deputy Prosecutor Peter Palubicki said prosecutors originally requested $10 million bail, and renewed their request due to the results of the autopsies on the victims.

Palubicki said a member of the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, which conducted the autopsies, told him the results of Guadalupe Martinez’s autopsy did not match Nava-Garibay’s account in the statement of probable cause.

Guadalupe Martinez sustained “significant trauma” to the front of her skull, Palubicki said, and more stab wounds than Nava-Garibay’s account.

Nothing was discussed regarding Dora Martinez’s autopsy.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com.