Driver pleads no contest in Wash. tourists' deaths

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) -- A man who told police he deliberately drove off a San Luis Obispo County freeway to get attention from his ex-girlfriend has pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in the deaths of two tourists run down by his car.

County prosecutors say 20-year-old Jerardo Iriarte could be sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. He entered the plea on Wednesday and will be sentenced Aug. 17.

Washington visitors Bruce and Marjorie Mallin were on a morning walk in October outside a Pismo Beach Marie Callender's restaurant when Iriarte's Toyota Corolla veered off U.S. Highway 101 at 80 mph, went down an embankment and struck the couple.

The San Luis Obispo Tribune says Iriarte wanted to get the attention of his ex-girlfriend, who was working at the restaurant.

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Information from: The Tribune, http://www.sanluisobispo.com