• Chinese student pleads guilty to vehicular homicide

    By: David Ham


    SEATTLE - Yichun Xu, 20, entered a guilty plea before Judge John Chan in Kent Tuesday for vehicular homicide in the death of  Brenda Gomez, 25. 

    "We're charging the defendant with killing Brenda Gomez-Zapata on Nov. 19, 2012, with a disregard for safety of others," said prosecutor Amy Freedheim. 

    Gomez died days after Xu ran a stop sign and slammed into Gomez's car. 

    Shortly after Xu was arrested in 2012, a judge set his bail at $2 million because there were fears he would try to leave the U.S. before facing justice. 

    But Xu did not flee, and his family paid a civil settlement to Gomez's family. 

    Prosecutors recommended 15 months of jail time plus 18 months of supervised probation. 

    However, her family still believes he should spend more time in jail.

    "I know he probably didn't go out with the intent of committing that crime that day but the truth of the reality is my sister is gone and nothing I can ever do will bring her back," said Gomez's brother, Alberto Gomez. 

    Xu wiped away tears as the judge explained the terms of his guilty plea. 

    "It's not what we would like to see have happened," said  Alberto Gomez. 

    Ricardo Perezchica was Brenda's fiancé, and he's pleading with the public for help to Chan to give Xu a greater sentence than what's being recommended. 

    "I'm asking the public to weigh in their say in this and send letters to the judge," Perezchica said, "The pain that he caused that day will forever live in a lot of people's lives." 

    Xu is being held at the Kent Regional Justice Center without bond as he awaits his sentencing hearing on March 7.

    Next Up: