Accomplice in Tahoe death gets year in jail | SierraSun.com

Accomplice in Tahoe death gets year in jail

Sheila Gardner
Sun news service

A 24-year-old South Lake Tahoe man was sentenced Monday to a year in Douglas County Jail for his part in events which resulted in the murder of a 22-year-old housekeeper by her jealous ex-husband.

Evan Garcia, speaking through an interpreter, apologized to the court for the Nov. 19, 2006, death of Jazmin Gonzalez at the Horizon Casino Resort at Stateline.

“I would really like to apologize, especially for what happened to Ms. Gonzalez,” Garcia said. “In all these eight months, I have really suffered greatly. I have a wife and daughter and wouldn’t like it if the same thing happened to them that happened to Ms. Gonzalez.”

He pleaded guilty to violating an extended order for protection sought by the murder victim by renting the room in which Gonzalez was killed.

Romero Galicia, 36, was sentenced June 4 to life in prison without parole for first-degree murder in Gonzalez’s death. Five years were added to the sentence because of the protection order.

Garcia said he was friendly with the couple and thought he was doing Galicia a favor by renting the room so the murderer could talk with Gonzalez about their son who lives in Mexico.

Garcia requested Room 807 when he registered under a different name at the Horizon Casino Resort because he knew that Gonzalez was the assigned housekeeper.

He was not present when the murder took place.

Galicia reportedly was hiding in the closet when Gonzalez came in to clean the room and attacked her.

Galicia was accused of stabbing and cutting Gonzalez 60 times, bashing her in the head with a ball-peen hammer and cutting off her hair.

Garcia returned 90 minutes later and contacted security after he found the woman’s body.

Garcia admitted he rented the room for Galicia, but said he had no idea what the killer had planned. He claimed he rented the room for a birthday party for his girl friend who was coming up from Mexico.

Because he has been in Douglas County Jail for 239 days, Garcia is expected to be released in September and is to be exported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

“I wish there was more he could be charged with,” said prosecutor Michael McCormick. “He needs to be put away for a long time. I hope he lives a long life with the knowledge that he is responsible for another person’s death.”

Judge Michael Gibbons told Garcia he needs to spend the rest of his life helping others.

“I believe that you had no idea this crime was going to happen,” Gibbons said. “You did know you were doing something wrong. You are responsible for what ultimately happened. I think you are sorry, but you will get up every day, your family will be there. Her son’s family won’t.”

He told Garcia he needs to try to help the victim’s son.

“I hope you dedicate your life to helping other people to make up for what you did wrong. I hope you can do something in Mexico to help Jazmin’s family and her son,” Gibbons said.

Garcia was ordered, along with Galicia, to pay $23,693.25 restitution to the hotel for repairs to the room where the murder took place.