Man sentenced in July 4th murder of father-in-law

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Joseph Henry Garcia

SAN DIEGO — A man who fatally stabbed his father-in-law after the defendant’s pregnant wife told him that her father had molested her as a child was sentenced Friday to seven years in state prison.

Joseph Henry Garcia, 23, pleaded guilty last month to voluntary manslaughter in the death of 54-year-old Hermeneglido Parra.

In denying probation, Superior Court Judge Lorna Alksne noted the brutality of the stabbing that would have left the victim paralyzed had he survived.

”He (Parra) was stabbed viciously 36 times,” the judge said, noting Garcia — who had no prior criminal record — was provoked by the intoxicated victim.

Officers responding to a 911 call about 7 p.m. last July 4 went to the 3100 block of National Avenue, near Memorial Park and east of Barrio Logan. They found Parra unconscious with multiple stab wounds to his upper body.

Paramedics rushed to the scene, but Parra was pronounced dead a short time later.

”This was a crime of tremendous violence,” Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Zipp told the judge, asking the court to impose the maximum 12-year sentence.

Garcia’s father said it was like a “bombshell” went off when his son learned that his wife had been sexually abused by her father.

The defendant’s older sister, Vanessa Garcia, told the judge that her brother was a “loving, caring, and selfless”  young man who was forced to deal with a hostile situation.

For his part, the defendant apologized to the victim’s family for the suffering he has caused.

“No one could have foreseen that things unfolded the way they did,” Garcia said.

The defendant said his wife told him the day before the killing that her father had sexually abused her, beginning when she was 7 years old.

Garcia said he went back to the victim’s home in Logan Heights the next day because his mother-in-law told him the victim wouldn’t be there.

The defendant said he was overcome by a protective instinct when he attacked and stabbed his father-in-law.

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