Man who gunned down girlfriend at northwest Bakersfield house sentenced to life term in prison

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man who gunned down the woman he claimed to have loved since the fourth grade was sentenced Thursday to a life term in prison.

Noting his numerous prior convictions and the “completely unprovoked” shooting, Superior Court Judge John S. Somers sentenced Carlos Garcia Jr. to 75 years to life plus five years.

Garcia, 25, showed little reaction as sentence was pronounced. He looked around as he sat quietly next to Deputy Public Defender Kevin Moran.

The attorney had asked for a sentence in which Garcia could work toward rehabilitation and possibly be released from prison.

Prosecutor Joseph Marcano, however, said Garcia’s actions deserved life behind bars, and, judging by his recent tattoos, Garcia has no interest in rehabilitation.

Since his arrest, Garcia has had an upside down cross tattooed in the center of his forehead, a pentagram on the right side of his head and the number “25” on the left side of his head. The latter tattoo indicates Garcia is part of a prison dropout gang, Marcano said.

Multiple people were present when Garcia shot to death Alyson Muniz, 24, at a house in northwest Bakersfield on May 22, 2018.

Muniz’s sister, Hannah Muniz, told the court before sentencing her sister was the strongest person she’d ever known. She said her sister’s four young children — their ages range from 3 to 7 — miss her every day. One still wakes up crying.

Hannah Muniz took issue with Garcia’s prior references to Alyson Muniz as “my girl.”

“Alyson is not your girl,” she said in court. “You took her life away. You don’t get to say that.”

Garcia had stayed briefly at the Abbott Drive house where Muniz was living before the homeowner forced him to leave for breaking a window. Witnesses said he physically and verbally abused Muniz and got angry over “jealousy issues,” according to court documents.

The shooting occurred inside the house. Homeowner Blanca Arellano said she watched Alyson Muniz, her “beloved friend” whom she described as like a daughter to her, gasp her last breath on the kitchen floor.

Witnesses described Garcia as a daily methamphetamine user who was homeless, and Garcia told investigators he used meth the day of the shooting, according to court documents.

Garcia fled after the shooting and spent the night in a shed. He made his way to Lost Hills, where he stayed in the trailer of an acquaintance.

Authorities tracked him down and took him into custody six days later following a SWAT standoff. Inside the trailer, investigators found notes Garcia admitted writing in which he apologized and made suicidal statements, the documents said.

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