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Man sentenced for his role in 2017 murder

DES MOINES - The getaway driver in a fatal 2017 shooting pleaded guilty and was sentenced to prison Thursday. 

23-year-old Anthony Garcia entered a guilty plea of Attempted Murder in Polk County Court, and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Garcia was initially charged with Murder in the First Degree. 

Garcia admitted to driving 19-year-old Miguel Angel Lorenzo Baltazar, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, to the 1700 block of Oakland Ave in July 2017 before Baltazar shot and killed 23-year-old Jeffrey Mercado.

"Torn from my life was that which I loved the most, which is my son," Mercado's mother said in a statement read by a court-appointed interpreter. "My son made me feel complete as a mother. My son was the one who worried about me. Now that I don't have my son, there is a great emptiness that I cannot fill." 

Garcia will be required to serve at least 70 percent of his prison sentence before he is eligible for parole, and is also ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution. 

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