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Grand jury indicts WR man on murder charges

PERRY — A Houston County grand jury indicted Tuesday the estranged husband of a woman shot to death at her home in August on murder charges, a prosecutor said.

Jose Garcia, 44, was indicted on charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, said Houston County District Attorney Rabb Wilkerson.

Garcia is accused of the fatal shooting of Maria Garcia, 38, at her 102 Murray Place home the morning of Aug. 23.

Police believe that Jose Garcia went to the home with plans to kill Maria Garcia and then kill himself in what was to be a murder-suicide, according to Tabitha Pugh, public information officer for Warner Robins police.

Maria Garcia’s body was discovered in the doorway of her home by neighbors.

Jose Garcia was found 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 minutes of the discovery of Maria Garcia’s body, police said.

Jose Garcia was initially hospitalized, then arrested and formally charged by Warner Robins police with felony murder upon his release from the hospital.

Garcia was being held Tuesday in the Houston County jail.

Also Tuesday, the grand jury indicted Mario Gutierrez-Gonzalez, 41, of Warner Robins, on charges of vehicular homicide in the Sept. 4 death of Amy Nicole VanHoose, 35, of Bonaire, Wilkerson said.

The 12-count indictment also included several other traffic charges, including serious injury by vehicle, hit and run, driving while intoxicated and reckless driving, Wilkerson said.

According to Warner Robins police, officers dispatched to Moody Road at Helen Terrace at 5:14 p.m. Sept. 4, in reference to a three-car wreck with serious injuries, found only two cars on scene.

Bryan and Amy VanHoose of Bonaire were headed northbound on Moody Rood when their car was struck on the passenger side by a car driven by Gutierrez-Gonzalez, officials said.

The impact pushed the VanHoose vehicle into the path of a southbound car driven by 70-year-old Robert Kinsey.

Information from The Telegraph’s archives was used in this report. To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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