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
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
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
Galveston County District