Two men have been sentenced to serve time behind bars in connection with the June 1, 2008, shooting death of 45-year-old Roberto Garcia.
Frederick Denmark, 25, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison. Lonnie Brown, 20, pleaded guilty to criminal attempt to commit robbery and was sentenced to serve between 365 and 700 days in a probation detention center followed by six years on probation.
Both men were initially indicted on murder charges. They entered their pleas in Bibb County Superior Court Monday.
A third man, 21-year-old Ricky Patterson, also faces murder charges in connection with Garcia’s death. His trial has not been scheduled.
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Police say Garcia died of what appeared to be a single gunshot wound. Assailants pistol-whipped another man, 26-year-old Marco Garcia, Roberto Garcia’s unrelated roommate, according to the Macon police.
Marco Garcia was not taken to the hospital, according to the police.
Denmark’s attorney, John Carter, said Denmark admitted he was at Versailles Apartments on Bloomfield Drive with Brown and Patterson and that they had planned to commit robbery.
“It went bad,” Carter said.
Thomas Jarriel, Brown’s attorney, said Brown contends the men went to the apartment to buy marijuana and he had no knowledge of a plan to rob or kill anyone.
“He didn’t know there was a gun,” Jarriel said.
Brown got out of the car with Denmark and Denmark had a short conversation with Garcia before he pulled out a gun and shot him, Jarriel said.
“Mr. Brown just froze,” he said. “Mr. Brown just didn’t know this was going to happen.”
Brown and Denmark pointed the finger at each other through their attorneys Monday, claiming that the other man was the person who fired the shot that killed Garcia.
Prosecutor John Regan said all the evidence points to Denmark being the gunman. “Although I could never replace a life, I feel justice was served with these sentences,” he said.
Carter said Denmark accepts his responsibility in Garcia’s death and the robbery attempt.
Denmark apologized to Garcia’s family prior to being sentenced.
“I’m sorry for the things that happened to Mr. Garcia,” he said.
His father, Frederick Denmark Sr., addressed the judge and said that his son started out on the wrong path.
“He is a good kid,” Denmark said of his son, describing him more as a “follower” and not a “leader.”
Information from The Telegraph’s archives was included in this report.
To contact Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.