Albuquerque man sentenced for decapitating woman in 2017

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — On Friday a man was sentenced for decapitating a woman in Albuquerque nearly six years ago.

Audra Willis was stabbed and decapitated while sitting in a parked car in 2017. A child was also in the car – and that boy’s testimony later helped lead investigators to Andrew Garcia.

Garcia pleaded guilty to second-degree murder earlier this year. That was a so-called Alford plea, meaning Garcia believes he would be convicted but maintains he is innocent.

Garcia’s defense said the child’s testimony was inconsistent, and Garcia has a below-average IQ and mental health issues that make determining what really happened impossible.

“Nobody really knows what happened because none of this was documented at the time or by anybody despite the fact that three people were allegedly either present or right within the vicinity of this incident,” Garcia’s attorney said.

Prosecutors pushed back against the claims of the defense.

“I just wanted to say I think its always a shame when people come to their sentencing to deny the crime to which they are being sentenced and this has really been a theme with Mr. Garcia,” a prosecutor said. “He’s consistently tried to deny responsibility in this case.”

Detectives said two other people were also present during the murder. Both were arrested and charged with tampering with evidence.

Under the terms of the plea deal, Garcia faced a maximum of 18 years in prison.

After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Bruce Fox sentenced him to 14 years in prison, followed by four years of supervised probation. Garcia will receive psychiatric treatment and drug addiction treatment while in prison.