4th of July murder suspect to stand trial

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Joseph Henry Garcia

SAN DIEGO — A man accused of fatally stabbing his father-in-law after the victim allegedly made disparaging remarks about his daughter at a Logan Heights Fourth of July family gathering must stand trial on a murder charge, a judge ruled Thursday.

Joseph Henry Garcia, 22, is charged in the death of 54-year-old Hermeneglido Parra.

Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Zipp alleged that Garcia stabbed Parra 40 times before fleeing to Mexico with his wife, Karina.

Garcia returned to the border the next day and turned himself in, according to testimony at today’s preliminary hearing.

Garcia’s brother, James Corella, testified that the victim appeared intoxicated at the party. The victim said to those gathered at the party that “all of the women who have lived in this house are mine,” according to Corella.

According to Corella, the victim suggested his daughter’s unborn child was going to be a girl and said he would “give her what I gave her mother.”

San Diego police Detective Cory Gilmore testified that Garcia told his brother after the killing that “He (Parra) raped my wife! He raped my wife!”

As they left the crime scene, Garcia told his brother “Sorry you had to see that,” Gilmore testified.

Zipp said Parra was stabbed 40 times, and one of the stab wounds hit his spine, paralyzing his arms. Parra died from stab wounds to the head, neck and torso.

Officers responding to a 911 call on the Fourth of July went to the 3100 block of National Avenue, near Memorial Park and east of Barrio Logan, shortly before 7 p.m. They found an unconscious Parra with multiple upper body stab wounds.

Paramedics rushed to the scene, but Parra was pronounced dead a short time later, SDPD Lt. Paul Rorrison said.

Garcia’s attorney, Paul Neuharth, argued there was no evidence of premeditation and the case was more likely a case of voluntary manslaughter.

Zipp said the killing was done with malice.

Judge Joan Weber said the case involved “textbook provocation” and urged both sides to work on settling the matter. Weber said the “extremely troubling” case had ripped two families apart.

A Superior Court arraignment was set for Oct. 1.

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