The sentence was mandatory because the conviction made Edward Nelson, 47, of Seattle, a “persistent offender” under the state’s “three strikes” law.
A Seattle man has been sentenced to life in prison for attempting to rob a Yakima drugstore at gunpoint and leading police on a high-speed chase into the Lower Valley.
Edward Leon Nelson, 47, was sentenced Friday to life without parole in Yakima County Superior Court following his earlier convictions for first-degree robbery and attempting to elude police.
The sentence was mandatory because the convictions made Nelson a “persistent offender” under the state’s so-called “three strikes” law, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ken Ramm said. Nelson’s previous convictions include attempted robbery in 1987 and promoting prostitution in 1991, which qualified as strikes under the law.
On Aug. 15, 2014, Nelson approached a pharmacist at a Rite Aid, and, at gunpoint, demanded oxycodone. He left empty-handed when he was told the store did not have the potent painkiller in stock.
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When police spotted his car, Nelson led officers on a chase down the wrong side of Interstate 82 and U.S. Highway 97, where he hit another car head on, according to court documents.
Nelson’s car was later found abandoned on Harrah Road. A hat thrown out of the car was linked to him through DNA testing.