2 sentenced for killing man in parked car near Bellingham

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Two men have each been sentenced to nearly a decade in prison for fatally shooting a man in a parked car during a drug deal east of Bellingham in 2016.

The Bellingham Herald reported Friday that 22-year-old Richard "Ricky" Zapata-George of Deming was sentenced June 20 in Whatcom County Superior Court to just under 10 years in prison for manslaughter and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Nineteen-year-old Dale Williams of Deming was sentenced to nine years in prison for manslaughter.

Court records say David Palagruti texted Zapata-George to arrange a drug deal on Dec. 6, 2016 but Palagruti fell asleep and was shot in the head twice.

Prosecutors say conflicting stories about what exactly happened and who fired the gun led to charges that were reduced from first-degree murder.