Man pleads not guilty to 2010 slaying of estranged wife in Warner Robins

bpurser@macon.comOctober 7, 2013 

Jose Garcia

WARNER ROBINS -- A man accused in the 2010 shooting death of his estranged wife pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Jose Garcia, 27, is accused of killing 38-year-old Maria Garcia in her Murray Place home before fleeing and then attempting to kill himself. According to the Houston County District Attorney’s Office website, Jose Garcia entered his not guilty plea during a motions hearing.

His attorney, Carolyn Hall, an assistant public defender, could not be reached for comment.

He may go to trial the week of Oct. 21, Daniel P. Bibler, deputy chief assistant district attorney, stated in an email. Bibler could not be reached for comment by telephone.

An interpreter will be needed for the trial because Garcia speaks only Spanish, according to court records. Originally from El Salvador, the couple had four children together.

On the morning of Aug. 23, 2010, Garcia allegedly went to the Murray Place home with plans to kill his wife and then kill himself in what was to be a murder-suicide, police said.

Maria Garcia’s body was discovered in the doorway of her home by neighbors about 7:35 a.m. A handgun believed to have been used to shoot her twice was found inside.

Jose Garcia was discovered unconscious and suffering from two self-inflicted stab wounds in the parking lot of Northlake Apartments where he lived, about four miles away and within five minutes of the discovery of Maria Garcia’s body, police said. A large knife he’s believed to have used to stab himself in the chest and leg was found in the parking lot.

Jose Garcia, who was initially hospitalized, has been held in the Houston County jail since Sept. 1, 2010, pending trial.

Neighbors DeFrange Leary and Tiffany Ramsey previously told The Telegraph they saw Garcia drive erratically away from the Murray Place residence shortly before discovering the body. They said he nearly struck a mailbox, and Ramsey described him as being hunched over the wheel of his sport utility vehicle.

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