Roy Garcia accepts agreement in death of Jeffrey Garner; Faces
maximum of 12 years in prison
San Martin – Rogelio ‘Roy’ Roberto Garcia Jr. pleaded guilty to the voluntary manslaughter of his friend Jeffrey Garner Wednesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court. Garcia, 25, will face a maximum of 12 years in prison. The agreement means Garcia will receive one felony strike under California’s three strikes law.
Instead of completing the preliminary hearing and standing trial for murder, both District Attorney Dana Overstreet, defense attorney Esau Herrera and Garcia accepted the terms of the agreement.
“As a result of this deposition you are going to be sent to prison for the maximum 12 years,” Superior Court Judge Kenneth Shapero told Garcia as he entered his plea.
He must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence then will be placed on probation for three years after his release.
“You are pleading guilty to what is known as a strike law,” he explained to Garcia. “The court finds factual basis for this plea and accepts them.”
Garner, 25, was killed the night of July 2 at Garcia’s Gilroy home on Duke Drive during a small gathering. An autopsy revealed Garner died from brain damage from a fractured skull. Reports indicate he was struck twice in the back of the head with a metal pipe, and a third blow shattered his front teeth and split open his lip. A final hit broke Garner’s nose.
Two witnesses, Garcia’s 18-year-old neighbor and Garner’s 15-year-old ex-girlfriend, testified during the preliminary hearing that Garcia struck Garner with a pipe during an argument he was having with his ex girlfriend.
The 15-year-old testified she believed her life was in danger and that Garner had thrown her up against the walls of a room in Garcia’s barn.
Defense attorney Esau Herrera has said he was acting in defense of the 15-year-old who was arguing with Garner.
However, during testimony by both witnesses, Garner was not touching her when Garcia entered the room and was empty-handed.
Garner’s mother Elizabeth broke down during Garcia’s plea. She silently cried as Garcia told Shapero he was guilty of voluntary manslaughter and using a deadly weapon.
Garcia’s mother wiped her eyes as her son faced Shapero. She clasped her son Nicholas’s hand as her elder son admitted his guilt. She did not look at him.
Garcia waived his right to a speedy trial as well the right to testify in his own defense. He spoke clearly and calmly with his hands folded at his legs.
Garcia’s girlfriend and mother walked out of courtroom embracing.
He will be sentenced Jan. 5.