Murder charges filed for baseball bat homicide

Rusell Edward Garcia

Charges of murder and assult with a deadly weapon were filed Jan. 25 against Russell Edward Garcia, 31, in connection with a 2010 home invasion in Gilroy that caused the death of an elderly man after he was severely beaten on the head with a baseball bat.

The charges come nearly two years since 75-year-old Marcelino Cardenas died from his injuries April 25, 2010 at Regional Medical Center of San Jose. About two weeks prior on April 13, GPD officers responded to a call of a disturbance at 1055 Montebello Drive near First Street. When the officers arrived at the scene they found Cardenas lying on a couch in the living room with severe head injuries, and a then-40-year-old male victim in the kitchen area with major injuries to his legs.

The initial investigation revealed that the suspect attacked both men with a baseball bat. The 40-year-old victim was transported to a Bay Area trauma hospital and later released after treatment, according to a press release from the Gilroy Police Department.

Cardenas’ death marked the first homicide for Gilroy in 2010. At the time, GPD Sgt. Wes Stanford believed that the older victim lived alone. It was unclear what the relationship was between Cardenas and the 40-year-old, Stanford said. 

According to GPD Sgt. Chad Gallacinao, Gilroy detectives exhausted all initial leads in the case until summer 2011. In July 2011, detectives were able to develop new leads, which led to the identification of a suspect.

As of May 2011, Garcia was already in custody at the Santa Clara County Jail on unrelated charges.

On Jan. 25, 2012, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office filed charges of murder and assault with a deadly weapon against Garcia, according to the press release.

Garcia is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday, Jan. 27. 

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact Gilroy Detective Michael Bolton at 408-846-0350. Parties wishing to remain anonymous may call We-Tip at 1-800-782-7463.

Booking photo to come soon.

Click here to read a past story on this incident.