Facing murder charge, girl, 17, pleads to lesser felony

Gladyz Valencia-Anguiano is accused of staying in the car and smoking a cigarette during a deadly robbery.

EVERETT — A 16-year-old girl stayed in the car and smoked a cigarette while her friends killed someone.

Like them, she could have faced decades in prison for the drug robbery that turned deadly.

Gladyz Valencia-Anguiano, of Mountlake Terrace, pleaded guilty in October to a reduced charge of rendering criminal assistance, a felony.

As part of the plea, her case was moved from adult court to juvenile court.

Prosecutors and the defense have agreed to recommend that Valencia-Anguiano, now 17, remain locked up until she’s 21.

She is the fourth teen to admit to taking part in the heist. Three others have pleaded guilty to murder charges in adult court and are awaiting sentencing.

They are Caya Lenay, 16, Mondrell Robertson, 18, and Bryan Rodriguez-Hernandez, 17.

A fifth defendant, Larry Dorrough, 17, is charged with murder and his trial is set for next year.

Prosecutors say the group descended on a south Everett home in December 2017. The plan was to rob a teenage boy of his stash of methamphetamine and marijuana.

The boy’s mother, Julie Knechtel, 54, came to his defense and was shot to death by Rodriguez-Hernandez. The boy went to his mother’s side, and Dorrough allegedly shot him in the back, causing serious injuries.

Valencia-Anguiano and Rodriguez-Hernandez were dating at the time. She told investigators that she participated in planning the robbery, according to the charges. As the getaway driver, she kept the car doors locked until the rest of the crew returned from Knechtel’s property.

She and Rodriguez-Hernandez then cooked up a story to tell law enforcement.

Before the shooting, the girl had no criminal history.

The sentence for her conviction in juvenile court usually would be up to 30 days in detention, according to court papers. Prosecutors argue there are aggravating factors, including the crime being “especially heinous, cruel or depraved.”

That hearing is scheduled for February.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @rikkiking.

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