Wednesday, December 7, 2011
During a Nov. 30 court hearing a Hood River County grand jury brought murder indictments against three family members in the 2003 shooting death of Faustino Garcia.
On Nov. 23 Hood River City Police Det. Anthony Frasier arrested a mother and two of her adult children in connection with the Feb. 12, 2003 murder of Garcia - former husband and father of the accused.
According to the grand jury indictments, the victim's wife, Rosario Munoz de Garcia, 46, now of Lyle, Wash., and two adult children, Guadalupe Garcia, 27, of Lyle, and Jorge Garcia Munoz, 24, of Hood River, have each been charged with murder.
In addition to the murder charges, all three are also charged with criminal conspiracy.
Jorge received a charge of manslaughter in addition to the murder and conspiracy charges.
According to the grand jury indictment, the manslaughter charge against Faustino's son Jorge stated the alleged act was committed "under the influence of an extreme emotional disturbance" causing the death of the victim.
When Deputy District Attorney Carrie Rasmussen was asked what new information led to the arrests at this time, she stated, "We're not releasing any additional information beyond the press release."
According to previous police reports, Faustino was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds just off of 17th Street in a small city-owned lot just north of Hood River Middle School.
Shotgun casings and footprints were found at the scene, just two blocks from the victim's family home on Eugene Street. No witnesses came forward.
Hood River County Sheriff Det. Gerry Tiffany found Faustino's body around 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 12, 2003. Faustino's family had reported the victim left the home to pursue a burglar around 4:30 a.m. that morning and never returned.
According to previous Hood River News reports, a 2003 investigation following the murder revealed the victim had been estranged from the family for several months and was not living in the family home at the time of the murder.
Again, according to 2003 investigations, wife Rosario and daughter Guadalupe had initiated court action against Faustino, charging assault, in September 2002, just five months before the murder.
Information in Rosario's restraining order stated, "Children are afraid father will hit them."
According to court records, Faustino was forbidden by a restraining order, filed by Guadalupe, then 17, from being on the premises of the family home. Rosario had dropped her restraining order, but Guadalupe's was in full force on the date of the murder. Faustino had also been under orders to enter a batterer's treatment program and undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation.
The Nov. 30 hearing confirmed the appointment of individual attorneys for the three suspects. Guadalupe's court-appointed representative is Portland attorney Alex Hamalian and attorney Benjamin Kim of Clackamas will represent Rosario. Jorge will be represented by Hood River attorneys Jack Morris and Brian Starns.
Each suspect is being held on a $500,000 bond with bail set at $50,000 apiece.
At the Nov. 30 hearing before Hood River Circuit Court Judge Paul Crowley, the three suspects appeared seated together clad in orange jumpsuits via video feed from the NORCOR detention center as Crowley led the proceedings.
"I'm going to keep these cases together for now for shepherding purposes until we can do something meaningful; and then go from there," said Crowley prior to setting future appearance dates.
The next appearance date for the three suspects is scheduled for Dec. 22 at 4 p.m.
"On Dec. 22 we will look at where we stand with respect to discovery and scheduling of any hearings the defense may request at that time," said Crowley.
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The band Planet Fly plays at Pfriem in an outdoor concert. Enlarge