More than five months after a jury found Jose Luis Garcia Jr. guilty of tampering with evidence, which was announced at 1:30 a.m. Nov. 8, the 20-year-old still does not have the reporters record to effectuate his appeal.
Garcia was accused of shooting and killing Rio Grande City teen Chayse Olivarez before orchestrating the burning and dismemberment of the man’s body.
The week-long trial included a video-taped confession and crime scene walk-through that included Garcia leading the Texas Rangers to a bank on the Rio Grande 5 miles away from the crime scene where the weapon used in the shooting was recovered.
Before the jury went into deliberations, visiting Judge Rogelio Valdez instructed them to disregard the confession if they determined it was taken illegally. Valdez also instructed jurors to disregard the traffic stop used to bring Garcia to the Starr County Sheriff’s Office for interrogation if they determined it was an illegal traffic stop.
The jury did, however, find Garcia guilty of tampering with evidence, a human corpse. He was sentenced to eight years in prison on the charge.
On Friday, the 13th Court of Appeals abated Garcia’s case and remanded it back to the trial court to determine why the reporters record has not been filed or whether Garcia even wants to pursue his appeal.
The order states that a third extension for time to file the reporters record has been made and that the clerk in the case has indicated she is awaiting payment.
The hearing will be held to determine whether Garcia wants to appeal; whether his counsel has abandoned the appeal; whether Garcia is indigent; if he is indigent, whether new counsel should be appointed; whether Garcia is entitled to have the reporters record at no charge; and, if he’s not, to set a date for payment arrangements.
As of Monday afternoon, a hearing had not been scheduled, according to court records.