Man admits renting room where murder occurred
June 12, 2007
MINDEN – A 24-year-old South Lake Tahoe man admitted that he rented a casino hotel room for a friend which was the scene of the murder of a 22-year-old housekeeper by her jealous ex-boyfriend.
Ivan Garcia pleaded guilty to conspiring with Ramiro Galicia to violate an extended order for protection sought by the murder victim, Jazmin Gonzalez, 22.
Galicia, 36, was sentenced June 4 to life in prison without parole for first-degree murder in Gonzalez’s death. Five years were added to the sentence because of the protection order.
Speaking through an interpreter, Garcia on Monday admitted he rented the room for Galicia, but said he had no idea what the killer had planned.
“I didn’t ever think it was going to happen that there was going to be a murder there,” Garcia said. “I rented the room for a friend for him to talk to his wife regarding his son.”
“You thought he was going to just talk to her, not hurt her?” asked District Judge Michael Gibbons.
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Garcia said he knew that Galicia was ordered to have no contact with the victim.
“I was very sure he was just going to talk to her,” Garcia said.
Derrick Lopez, Garcia’s lawyer, said his client originally was charged with being a principal to the murder, but evidence did not show that Garcia planned or assisted in the murder or knew the murder would happen on Nov. 19, 2006.
Galicia was accused of stabbing and cutting Gonzalez 60 times, bashing her in the head with a ball-peen hammer and cutting off her hair.
“He (Garcia) was the first person to find Ms. Gonzalez,” Lopez said. “He was very upset, shocked and sickened at what happened.”
Garcia requested Room 807 when he registered under a different name at the Horizon Casino Resort because he knew that Gonzalez was the assigned housekeeper.
He was not present when the murder took place.
Galicia reportedly was hiding in the closet and when Gonzalez came in to clean the room he attacked her.
Garcia returned 90 minutes later and contacted security after he found the woman’s body.
She had been reported missing by hotel staff after several hours.
Garcia faces up to a year in Douglas County Jail and a $2,000 fine at his sentencing July 16.
He also has a hold placed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and faces deportation. He is in custody in Douglas County Jail on $50,000 bail.