Public Safety News
Galveston County District Attorney's Office
Friday, April 13, 2012
Felon Who Claimed He was Just a Plumber Sentenced to 75 Years for Aggravated Robbery
GALVESTON, Texas – On Thursday, a Galveston County jury sentenced Damien Lee Garcia, 32, to 75 years in prison for aggravated robbery. The jury of eight women and four men, impaneled in the 405th Judicial District Court, also sentenced Garcia to 20 years in prison for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.
In the early morning of August 11, 2009, Garcia – armed with a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol – stole the victim’s Rolex and wallet. After encountering a Galveston Police officer seconds later in the alley behind the victim’s house, Garcia eluded capture for two hours – hiding underneath a nearby vacant house. Garcia was unable to make it to his getaway truck, which was waiting nearby with the keys in the ignition.
Prior to trial, Garcia pleaded guilty to the firearm possession charge but not guilty to the aggravated robbery charge. During trial, the jury heard testimony that GPD Officers Joey Durr, Hector Dominguez and Detective John Blackwell eventually located Garcia hiding underneath the house. They also found the victim’s watch and wallet, along with a black bandana and the loaded and cocked pistol – all in Garcia’s immediate vicinity.
In a video-taped statement recorded moments after he was caught, Garcia claimed to have been underneath the house working as a plumber. After he could not answer questions about the name of the homeowner, the name of his employer, or the location of his tools, Garcia refused to answer any further questions.
The jury deliberated about two hours before finding Garcia guilty. Prosecutors then presented evidence that Garcia had been previously convicted of two felonies and five misdemeanors. Prosecutors also presented evidence of four additional pending felony charges.
The jury heard evidence that on May 14, 2011, while out on bond for the Aggravated Robbery and Felon in Possession of Firearm charges, Garcia assaulted his girlfriend with a .357 revolver. Photographs were admitted showing bruises, scrapes, bite marks and contusions on the victim’s legs, arms, hips, hands, fingers, chest, face and back. When Galveston Police officers arrested Garcia for the felony assault, they also discovered baggies of cocaine, methamphetamine and marihuana, along with various prescription pills and a loaded .357 revolver in Garcia’s vehicle.
Galveston County Assistant District Attorneys Jared Robinson and Vikram Vij represented the State at trial. Garcia was represented by Mo Ibrahim. During closing arguments, Robinson called Garcia a “cancer in our community” and implored members of the jury to send Garcia to prison for the rest of his life. Vij likewise urged jurors to “send this man a message that his life of crime was over.” Garcia will spend thirty years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.