Two teens plead not guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm in officer’s death

Third teen to make court appearance Aug. 2 on murder charge

Officer Diego Moreno

Officer Diego Moreno

The two 17-year-old boys, who were passengers in the pickup that fled from Kent Police and led to the death of Office Diego Moreno, each pleaded not guilty to charges of unlawful possession of a firearm.

One boy, of Kent, and the second boy, of Tukwila, entered the pleas Thursday in King County Juvenile Court in Seattle, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. One boy also pleaded not guilty to a felony drug charge. The Kent Reporter is not naming the two passengers because of their juvenile court status. As of Friday, both boys remained in custody at the King County Youth Services Center in Seattle.

Each boy allegedly fired shots into the air during a dispute July 22 at the El Habanero restaurant on West Meeker Street, according to court documents. Police responded to the scene and began to pursue a 2003 Dodge Ram pickup that sped away from the restaurant parking lot.

Moreno, 35, of Auburn, was killed a short time later when a fellow officer struck him during the pursuit after he deployed spike strips along Kent Des Moines Road.

Emiliano Garcia, 16, is charged with second-degree murder in the case. He allegedly drove the pickup that later crashed. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, Aug. 2, at the King County Courthouse in Seattle. Garcia is being charged as an adult. He remained in custody at the Youth Services Center with bail set at $1 million.

A memorial service for Moreno is at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, at the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent.

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