A Fresno man was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of a woman whose three children were later kidnapped.
Alex Valdez, 31, who in February was found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Kimberly Harvill, appeared Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court for sentencing
The jury that convicted him also found a special circumstance in the case — alleging Valdez killed a witness — to be true, Greg Risling, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, wrote in a news release issued Friday.
Deputy District Attorneys Mario Haidar and Kathy Ta prosecuted the case.
In August 2016, Kimberly Harvill was murdered and her body was found lying in the brush by a motorist on Aug. 14 along Gorman Post Road, north of California State Route 138, in Lebec, near the Kern County line.
Harvill was killed by 29-year-old Joshua Robertson and Valdez because the victim was a witness to a shooting in Fresno involving the two defendants that happened days before her murder.
Robertson and the victim’s half-sister, Brittney Sue Humphrey, 24, kidnapped Harvill’s children ages 5, 3 and 2, after the crime occurred.
The children were later found abandoned in a New Mexico motel. Humphrey and Robertson were arrested later in Colorado and Valdez was arrested in Fresno.
In January, Robertson entered an open, no contest plea to one count of first-degree murder, three counts of kidnapping, two counts of an unrelated arson and one count each of possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of flammable material.
An open plea is a plea that was not negotiated with prosecutors.
Robertson was immediately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Humphrey pleaded no contest in September 2017 to three counts of kidnapping. She was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
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