by Marty Mayfield
RATON — 21-year old Anthony Garcia was found guilty of second degree murder by the jury in a three-day trial held in Judge Emilio Chavez’s court in Raton.
Garcia was originally charged with first degree murder after shooting and killing Kevin Garcia, 23 in north Raton on November 22, 2014. Garcia had also been charged with three counts of child abuse, two counts of tampering with evidence, five counts of aggravated assault and two counts of shooting at a dwelling.
Garcia, who pleaded self defense in this trial, later changed his plea to voluntary murder after hearing the evidence against him, according to District Attorney Donald Gallegos. The jury returned a guilty verdict of second degree murder. He was also found guilty of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of shooting at a dwelling, and one count of child abuse.
According to Gallegos, the maximum sentence Garcia could be given is 25 years, if the charges run consecutively. Garcia could face as little as 15 years if the sentences runs concurrently. The penalty for second degree murder in New Mexico is only 15 years.
Garcia was sent to Los Lunas for evaluation which could take up to 60 days before he is brought back to Raton for sentencing.