Pedro Morales

Pedro Morales

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- A Phoenix man who pleaded guilty to stabbing and killing a man, stabbing and injuring a pregnant woman, and stabbing and wounding a Phoenix police officer has been sentenced to life in prison.

Per a plea agreement, a judge has sentenced Pedro Morales to natural life in prison for first-degree murder. Morales was also sentenced to 16 years in prison for aggravated assault.

Morales was indicted by a grand jury in March 2015. Then, in 2016, a judge ruled that Morales was mentally competent to stand trial. During his eventual trial, Morales pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and aggravated assault.

The initial incidents date back to March 2015. Police responded to the corner of Van Buren and 16th streets after hearing reports about a man and woman arguing. As the officer tried to break up the fight, Morales reportedly stabbed him in the upper chest. Despite the officer's injuries, he managed to pull his service weapon and scream commands to Morales.

But Morales wasn't fazed. Police say he continued to swing the large knife and drag the woman down the street. She was heard yelling what sounded like: "Don't you dare shoot him!" to the officer. But seconds later, the officer fired a round.

Morales continued to swing the knife at the officer, who was seen backing away. Morales was struck with a bullet, wounded, and eventually taken into custody.

Police say the woman he had been attacking was his on-again, off-again girlfriend who was four months pregnant at the time. She was also stabbed but survived.

Morales was also charged in the stabbing death of another man at a Phoenix apartment the night before. That victim, Gabriel Stevens, was 29 years old.

[RELATED: Police ID victim allegedly killed by man who stabbed officer]

The officer who fired was a 20-year veteran of the force. Phoenix police said the officer put his own life at risk to save the woman. "The restraint that he showed in this situation and his decision not to endanger innocent bystanders is remarkable."

 

Copyright 2020 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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