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Pleads guilty to two felony charges
by Randy Parks
Reyes Thomas Garcia Jr., 49, pled guilty Monday, July 22, in Harney County Circuit Court to felony manslaughter in the second degree and felony unlawful use of a weapon in connection with the stabbing death of Eddie Ben Barela on Oct. 27, 2012.
District Attorney Tim Colahan stated that the investigation showed Barela and Garcia had been together drinking, along with others, the night of the stabbing. The victim suffered a stab wound that punctured his heart. The knife belonged to Garcia, and DNA on the knife matched the defendant.
On the first count, manslaughter in the second degree, Judge William D. Cramer Jr. sentenced Garcia to 75 months in prison, with no possibility of early release, three years post-prison supervision, and ordered him to pay $5,200 to the court and $2,290.81 restitution.
On the second count, unlawful use of a weapon, Garcia was sentenced to 30 months prison, with no possibility of early release, to run consecutively with Count 1, two years post-prison supervision and ordered to pay $200 to the court.
Barela’s long-time girlfriend, Shayla Barney, gave a tearful testimony on how Barela’s death has affected her, as well the couple’s children.
Garcia’s lawyer, David C. Glenn, said the defendant was attacked at a party on Oct. 27, and he doesn’t remember using a knife. Glenn said a doctor who examined Garcia said he suffered a possible concussion and post-traumatic amnesia. Glenn said Garcia decided to take responsibility for his actions, but he doesn’t remember the event.
“I recognize their loss, but they’re not the only ones losing something,” Garcia said. “I was provoked and beat up.”
During sentencing, Judge Cramer also stipulated Garcia was to have no contact with Barney or any of her children, and no intoxicants. “This death was senseless,” Cramer said. “You should never have a drop of alcohol again.”
Garcia has 30 days to appeal.