Garcia murder hearing set for April

December 31, 2011

Three family members accused in the 2003 shooting death of Faustino Garcia received a hearing date to enter their pleas via live video feed from NORCOR regional jail in The Dalles.

In a short proceeding at the Hood River County Courthouse Dec. 22, Circuit Judge Paul Crowley set April 18 for entry of plea date. A bail hearing may also later be scheduled before the April 18 proceedings.

A grand jury has indicted the victim's former wife, Rosario Munoz de Garcia, 46, of Lyle, and two adult children, Guadalupe Garcia, 27, of Lyle, and Jorge Garcia Munoz, 24, of Hood River. Each has been charged with murder.

In addition to the murder charges, Guadalupe and Rosario are also charged with criminal conspiracy. Jorge is charged with criminal conspiracy and manslaughter in addition to the murder charge.

During the Dec. 22 hearing, Crowley also modified an order sealing case files that include search warrant information.

During the proceeding, the defendants' defense attorneys expressed concern about their access to information. They also noted that a preponderance of the information in the file was derived from a single individual.

Hood River District Attorney John Sewell argued that opening the file could jeopardize the defendants' ability to receive a fair trial.

The search warrant, which led to the arrest of the three defendants, was based on an affidavit (sworn testimony of at least one individual). Crowley ultimately restricted public access to that document.

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