The end game is approaching for a Hermiston murder case nearly three years in the making. Defendant Maurilio Lamas Sanchez, 48, agreed Monday to accept a plea deal.

The Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office charged Sanchez with the Oct. 27, 2010, murder of his wife, Hilaria Sanchez, 41, in their trailer home in Hermiston. Sanchez pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Sanchez’s attorney, Doug Fischer of Pendleton, told Circuit Court Judge Christopher Brauer that his client was ready to accept an offer from the state. Fisher said Sanchez reached the decision after negotiations. He nor District Attorney Dan Primus revealed details of the deal.

Sanchez appeared in court via video from the Umatilla County Jail, Pendleton, and spoke through Spanish interpreter Karla Young. Sanchez’s mental health has been an issue in the case, and he had undergone evaluations to determine he understood what he was doing at the time of the crime. Brauer checked with Sanchez to make sure he wanted to take the new course of action.

He affirmed that was what he wanted, Young relayed to Brauer.

Primus told the court he had nothing to add. Fischer said he needed an interpreter to make sure Sanchez fully understands his rights and what’s happening. Brauer set the change of plea hearing for Oct. 28 at 8:15 a.m. in his courtroom at the Umatilla County Courthouse, Pendleton.

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