Defendant Sentenced to 10 Years for Criminally Negligent Homicide
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GALVESTON – On Thursday, May 23, 2019, Richard Garcia Jr. was found guilty by a Galveston County jury for the offense of Criminally Negligent Homicide with a Deadly Weapon and sentenced him to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

On October 23rd, 2016 at around 2 a.m. an Officer with the Galveston Police Department was on patrol along Ave. S when she observed several individuals actively fighting in the street. After breaking up the fight two men were found to have suffered stab wounds. One of these individuals, Angel Chevez, suffered a stab wound to his stomach. The other victim, Army Private 2nd Class Cole Hardeman, suffered a stab wound to his chest. Both men were transported to UTMB for treatment. Unfortunately, Private Hardeman was pronounced deceased upon his arrival to the emergency room.

Detectives with the Galveston Police Department arrived shortly thereafter and began a criminal investigation. Witnesses testified that earlier in the evening they were attending a party where the defendant, Richard Garcia Jr., had gotten into an argument and was asked to leave. Mr. Garcia left the party but later returned uninvited. After being asked to leave a second time, a verbal argument began between Mr. Garcia and other individuals at the party which spilled out onto the street. During this altercation, Mr. Garcia Jr. pulled out a knife and stabbed Mr. Chevez and Private Hardeman.

The defendant gave a voluntary statement to Detectives a few days later claiming he had been attacked during the party and that he was only acting in self-defense when he pulled out his knife.

Richard Garcia Jr. was originally charged with murder. However the jury chose to disbelieve his self-defense argument and instead found him Guilty of the lesser offense of Criminally Negligent Homicide with a Deadly Weapon.

Criminally Negligent Homicide with a Deadly Weapon carries a punishment from 2 years to 10 in prison.

After the conclusion of the evidence, the jury assessed a punishment of 10 years in Prison and a $10,000 fine.   

The defendant will not become eligible for parole until he serves 5 years of his sentence.

Richard Garcia Jr. was prosecuted by Chief Assistant District Attorney Kayla Allen and Chief Assistant District Attorney Paul Love in the 10th District Court, with Judge Kerry Neves presiding. The District Attorney’s Office would like to thank the Galveston Police Department and for their excellent work in investigating this case.

Shawn Eric Connally

Assistant Criminal District Attorney

Galveston County District Attorney’s Office

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