A 21-year-old gang member will spend about 45 years in prison for his role in two 2017 homicides, as well as a string of other crimes in Yakima.

Jeremiah Luciano Peralez, 21, entered an Alford plea to second-degree murder in the death of Emilio R. Phelan, and a guilty plea to second-degree murder in the killing of Kabin Smith during a hearing in Yakima County Superior Court Thursday.

An Alford plea allows Peralez to maintain his innocence yet acknowledge that the state’s evidence in the case would likely convince jurors to find him guilty.

Peralez was sentenced to 22 years for Phelan’s killing and almost 23 years in prison for Smith’s killing. Judge Kevin Naught ordered the sentences to be served consecutively, meaning Peralez will be in jail for almost 45 years.

“You will be 66 years old after these times have passed,” Naught told Peralez. “I think everyone here may have wished a different future for you.”

Peralez also entered Alford pleas to second-degree assault and first-degree robbery charges in connection with a drive-by shooting and two convenience store robberies. The 63-month assault sentence 129-month robbery sentences will run together with his murder convictions.

This story will be updated.

This story was updated to correct the sentences Jeremiah Perez received for the assault and robbery convictions.

Reach Donald W. Meyers at dmeyers@yakimaherald.com or on Twitter: donaldwmeyers, or https://www.facebook.com/donaldwmeyersjournalist.