Teen Charged With Capital Murder Takes 35 Year Plea Deal
SAN ANGELO, TEXAS -- This afternoon, Fred Angel Garcia, 18, was present in the Tom Green County Courthouse for a plea hearing. Garcia is charged with Capital Murder of Multiple Persons.
On March 26, 2016, Garcia shot and killed both Juan Guerrero and Zane Lopez during a drive by-shooting in North San Angelo. His bond was set at $500,000. For more information, see our story here.
Friends and family stood outside the court house in protest before the trial began.
The 340th Judicial District Court's Honorable Judge Weatherby presided over the plea hearing. The courtroom was filled with anticipation, as families of both parties waited to hear the sentencing of Garcia.
Defense attorney Theodore A. Hardgrove III told Judge Weatherby that Garcia would take the state's plea of a lesser charge with both counts of capital murder. Hardgrove added that Garcia would not plead guilty to the full punishment of the indicted charges.
Garcia was found to have no prior record and was under the age of eighteen at the time of the murder. For this reason, and with the the plea of guilty accepted by the court, Garcia was sentenced to 35 years in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and ordered to pay restitution totaling $43,277.39.
Garcia stood up with a calm demeanor as he awaited his sentencing.
"I find beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of murder," Weatherby told Garcia.
The state then asked for a victim impact statement from the mothers of Guerrero and Lopez.
Maribel Guerrero went first and stood as close to Garcia as possible to give her statement.
" I don't think thirty five years is long enough for you," Maribel Guerrero told Garcia. " I don't have my son to hold anymore, [but] I know he's with me every step of the way."
After a few more minutes, Guerrero left Garcia with her last words,
"I will hate you for the rest of my life," she added. "I hope you go to sleep every night remembering my son's name,"
Garcia was turned to face Maribel Guerrero during her statement. Garcia remained motionless the entire time. Next, Catalina Blanco, mother of Lopez, stood to give her statement. She began by saying that her son was always smiling and genuinely cared about those in his life, even when he was troubled.
"He wasn't only my son, he was my best friend," Blanco told Garcia. "I was his biggest fan."
She spoke of the the goals her son had, like joining the Army and becoming a musician. It pained her knowing that Garcia will have a life to live after prison where he can marry and have a family.
"You get to serve a thirty-five year sentence, me and Zane's father get to serve a life long sentence," Blanco said.
After her remarks, Judge Weatherby adjourned the hearing and turned Garcia over to be transported. He thanked those in attendance for being cordial during the proceedings.
"Thank you for making this a peaceful proceeding," Judge Weatherby told those in attendance. The peace didn't last very long though, as an altercation broke out between both parties on the steps of the court house a short time thereafter.
One of Guerrero's family members was detained by the Tom Green County Sheriff's Deputies during the altercation.
Accomplices to the murders, Erick Ramos, 19, and Gilberto Salvador Reyes, 19, both have criminal pre-trial dates on June 8th starting at 9 a.m. for Ramos and 10 a.m. for Reyes. Click here for the original story