Following plea deal, man says daughter's killer should 'burn in hell'
October 16, 2019 07:03 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The family of a Santa Fe woman who was stabbed to death in 2017 believes the justice system failed them.
Selena Valencia’s killer took a plea deal in the case, which drastically cut down the time he was facing in prison.
If Christopher Garcia had been convicted of first-degree murder, he would have faced life in prison.
However, he pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and other lesser charges.
He will spend 12 years in prison.
Valencia’s father called the plea deal a “disappointment.”
“It is not what I wanted, nor what I asked for,” Ramos Valencia said in a statement that was provided to KOB 4. “The justice system is a huge failure at every level."
The case hit a major hurdle before it was supposed to go to trial.
The Santa Fe Police Department admitted to losing 11 pieces of evidence in the case -- including hair and fingernail clippings.
The defense asked a judge to throw the case out -- saying that evidence could prove Garcia didn't kill Selena.
However, the judge declined that motion.
However, prosecutors offered Garcia the plea deal because of the lost evidence...
A spokesperson for the district attorney said “Ms. Valencia's family was advised of the plea and the family did express that they supported the decision to enter into a plea due to the significant risk that Mr. Garcia may have escaped punishment entirely if the case had gone to trial due to the lost evidence issue."
However, Selena’s father tells a different story.
“He should burn in hell for his actions. I will never forgive him for what he has done to my family,” he said. “We did not support the decision of the DA’s office."
KOB 4 reached out to the Santa Fe Police Department. Deputy Chief Ben Valdez said the department is confident there was still enough evidence to find Garcia guilty had he gone to trial.
Updated: October 16, 2019 07:03 PM
Created: October 16, 2019 04:35 PM
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