Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Summary of the Garcia Murder Trial, by Emily Detoto

Jose Garcia was an hispanic male living in a very rural town and was arrested based on the word of his "friend" who was the actual killer, for the murder of a former Marine at a well known bar in Angleton called the "Railhead" bar.
The evidence the State was relying on was the "friend's" testimony, a drop of blood belonging to my client at the scene, a scratch on my client's face, and my client's videotape statement, wherein he denied knowledge of the crime, and lied about his whereabouts.
On the eve of trial, the DA offered me 40 years. I told her time and time again that theyhad the wrong guy and that they could never prove their case. She laughed in my face and we proceeded to trial.
During voir dire, I was struck with the worst mirgraine in my life. Considering I had never had one, this was something I've never experienced. I picked the jury using the TLC method of throwing all my biggest fears out there, and the State put on a couple witnesses and we broke for the day. I drove straight to the ER, because the pain in my head was scary. They did their tests, gave me liquids, and an IV that was stronger than morphine, and after a couple of hours, I went home.
Then I just soldiered on. And one by one, piece by piece, chopped down the tree and told my client's story. I had the professional pleasure of my life when I got to cross examine the "friend." I toyed with the soft cross v .the regular cross. And, armed with Maren's cross examination lesson, I spent three hours exposing him for the liar he was.
At closing, I did a role play between an imaginary "friend" of a juror and a juror and had them explain to that friend, why they found my client not guilty. After about 7 hours, they came back with an acquittal. I hugged my client and we both wept. I then hugged his parents and we all three wept.
The newspaper asked me for my thoughts and I spoke from the heart. I said this should be a wakeup call to the elected DA that they ought use better judgment and discretion when they charge innocent people of crimes as serious as murder.
Thanks to GRAD 2, 2010, lead by Maren and Bernie. And all my classmates. I could not have saved Joey's life without you guys.
Emily Detoto,
TLC 2001

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