Farmington man gets max sentence for 2018 fatal stabbing near gas station
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Defendant was found guilty of murder by jury trial in 2019
AZTEC — The family of the man killed by Ronnie Garcia during a 2018 stabbing told the court they hope he never forgets about his victim, Dion DeBarry. They said the family will be forever haunted by the murder.
Garcia, of Farmington, was sentenced to 18 years and six months in the New Mexico Department of Corrections by District Court Judge Daylene Marsh on the afternoon of Feb. 6 in Aztec District Court.
DeBarry was fatally stabbed by Garcia around 1:23 a.m. on Oct. 22, 2018, near the Speedway Gas Station at 3001 Bloomfield Highway in Farmington.
"We're pleased with the sentence the judge handed out and believe it's the appropriate sentence under the law," San Juan County District Attorney's Office Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien.
O'Brien thanked the Farmington Police Department, as he said their investigation was crucial for the evidence and testimony that helped convict Garcia.
Garcia got the maximum sentence for each conviction with 15 years for murder, along with one year and six months for tampering with evidence.
A year was added to each sentence as a prior felony conviction for Garcia was used by Judge Marsh.
The prosecution sought the maximum sentence for Garcia, as did three of DeBarry's relatives who spoke to the court.
Christina Spicer, DeBarry's sister, told Judge Marsh her brother was only 24-years-old when Garcia murdered him and that his young child will have to grow up without a father.
She added that the family is still struggling to put the pieces of their family back together.
Spicer told The Daily Times after the hearing that she wanted Judge Marsh to know they lost someone very special to them and she disputed the portrayal of DeBarry's involvement in narcotics that Garcia's attorney, Thomas Clark, described during the trial.
"No amount of time would be good enough unless it's life in prison," Spicer said. "I think justice was served."
Clark sought a sentence of six years with 10 years suspended and the sentences for the two convictions to run concurrently. Garcia will serve the murder sentence, then the tampering with evidence sentence.
Clark told the court the sentence he sought was similar to an involuntary manslaughter conviction, which he believes better suits the crime.
Garcia's attorney previously told The Daily Times he plans to appeal the conviction.
Garcia will have to serve about 85 percent of his murder sentence as he was convicted of a violent crime.
A female witness stated the two men were in a verbal argument that escalated into a physical fight, according to The Daily Times archives.
DeBarry was found unresponsive at the scene and died from his injuries at San Juan Regional Medical Center.
Garcia was later taken into custody later that day after a standoff which lasted more than three and a half hours at the Rimrock Lodge at 2530 Bloomfield Highway.
He will get credit for time served at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center, where he has been incarcerated since his arrest.
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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