Farmington man convicted of fatal stabbing, could face more than 18 years in prison
The murder occurred on Oct. 22, 2018
- Ronnie Garcia, 41, was convicted of second-degree murder and a fourth-degree felony count of tampering with evidence.
- The jury convicted Garcia on Nov. 21 following a one-day trial in Aztec District Court.
- Garcia is set for a Feb. 26 sentencing hearing in Aztec District Court.
FARMINGTON — A Farmington man was convicted by a jury last week of killing 24-year-old Dion Debarry by stabbing him to death last year near a former Giant gas station in Farmington.
Ronnie Garcia, 41, was convicted of second-degree murder and a fourth-degree felony count of tampering with evidence during a one-day jury trial on Nov. 21, in front of District Judge Daylene Marsh in Aztec District Court, according to San Juan County District Attorney's Office Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien.
Garcia was charged on Oct. 22, 2018, with fatally stabbing Farmington resident Debarry around 1:23 a.m. near the Speedway Gas Station at 3001 Bloomfield Highway. He has been incarcerated at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center since then.
He was also charged with disposing of evidence, which was a jacket with red stains on it, according to The Daily Times archives.
Thomas Clark, Garcia's attorney, said he was disappointed with the verdict and believed there was a strong argument for self-defense.
"I believe the evidence was consistent with self-defense," Clark said. "However, I respect the decision of the jury."
Clark said he plans to file an appeal of the conviction following a February sentencing hearing.
O'Brien said the DA's office was pleased with the decision and that the jury made the right call on this one.
Garcia faces a maximum of 15 years in state prison for the murder conviction and a year and six months for the tampering with evidence conviction.
O'Brien stated Garcia had one prior felony conviction, which could add a year to the maximum sentence of each conviction for a total of 18 years and six months.
Garcia is set for a Feb. 26 sentencing hearing in Aztec District Court.
Argument led to fight, stabbing
Debarry was found with a stab wound to his chest by officers responding to the scene.
The incident started when Debarry and his girlfriend decided to pick up Garcia and a woman, then they drove to the gas station.
The court documents stated the two men got into a verbal argument, which turned into a fight.
A gas station employee told police Garcia said, "He came after me first."
Officers did not find Garcia at the scene. He was later located at a motel and was taken into custody around 12:53 p.m. after about a three-and-a-half-hour standoff.
Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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