Irvin Garcia was sentenced Tuesday to four to 12 years in prison for stabbing a fast-food worker on St. Patrick's Day.
"Mr. Garcia, no civilized society can put up with what you did in this case," said District Judge Bill Maddox in sentencing Garcia, 18, to two to six years on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, and a consecutive sentence of two to six years for a gang enhancement. "I said this last week and I'll say it again: I don't like sending young men to prison. You've got your whole life in front of you, and you're spending at least 48 months in prison. You have plenty of time to think about what direction you want your life to take. My suggestion to you is it shouldn't involve gangs, it shouldn't involve violence."
After a day of drinking cognac up by the waterfall in west Carson City, Garcia and co-defendant Christopher Piche, 18, drove to the Jack-in-the-Box on Retail Drive to confront a rival gang member as retaliation for the stabbing of a friend.
Unfortunately, Garcia wrote in a letter intercepted by jail staff, he "got the wrong vato."
The intended victim had switched shifts with another employee who had no gang affiliation, said District Attorney Neil Rombardo. Garcia and Piche jumped the counter, and Garcia stabbed the victim in the arm. Then the two fled.
Last week, Piche was sentenced to the same four- to 12-year prison sentence on identical charges.
When asked if he had anything to say on Tuesday, Garcia took the blame for the incident.
"I just want to apologize to the court, to the community, the victim and to my friend who got involved," Garcia said. "He had no idea what was going on. He didn't even know I had a knife."
Maddox interrupted Garcia, saying he'd read a jailhouse letter of Piche's, also intercepted by jail staff, in which Piche wrote that the two plotted the attack as they drank at the waterfall.
"I was inclined to be more lenient with (Piche) than I was with you, until I read that letter," the judge said.
- Contact reporter F.T. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1213.