SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) – Prosecutors say two men facing possible life sentences for their roles in a 2006 car crash that killed a San Francisco police officer have taken plea deals to lesser charges.

Nicholas Smith ,26, and Carl Lather, 25, pleaded guilty Friday to voluntary manslaughter and robbery charges in the death of Officer Nick-Tomasito Birco during a high-speed chase.

The men had allegedly committed several robberies and were fleeing the scene of the last one in a stolen van when they slammed into Birco’s car.

The van’s driver, 25-year-old Steven Petrilli of Hayward, was convicted of first-degree murder and other felonies. He was sentenced last month to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Smith and Lather are scheduled to be sentenced in May.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)


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