Family becomes emotional during sentencing
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Jun 07, 2013 | 2941 views | 0 0 comments | 93 93 recommendations | email to a friend | print
STOCKTON — The 4-year-old daughter of Phillip Gregory Sanchez burst into tears in San Joaquin County Superior Court on Monday, June 3, during the sentencing of two Modesto siblings charged with his killing.

Victor Garcia, 29, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, personal use of a knife and being a felon with prior prison time for auto theft and drug possession. As part of his plea agreement with the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, Garcia will serve the maximum sentence of 13 years in state prison.

Samantha Garcia, 22, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the crime of voluntary manslaughter. That charge carries a maximum time of three years in state prison, but her agreement with the prosecution dictates that she will serve the minimum of two years.

Judge Bernard Garber accepted the plea agreement into court record.

The 22-year-old Sanchez was stabbed three times near his home on the 200 block of West Whittier Avenue around midnight Sept. 19, 2012.

According to police, the siblings had driven from Modesto to Sanchez’s house to confront him about text messages that Samantha Garcia had received. The two men allegedly got into a fight, during which Victor Garcia stabbed Sanchez. The victim collapsed on a neighbor’s lawn and died an hour later at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital.

On Monday, 4-year-old Karina Sanchez sat in the courtroom with more than 30 family and friends as Deputy District Attorney Mark Ott played a video showing photos of Sanchez during his life. His sister, Narissa Sanchez, made the video for the hearing.

Before the video relatives’ letters about their grief were read aloud.

Karina’s mother, Stephanie Rodriguez, wrote in her letter that no one deserved to “die over words.”

The victim’s father, Phillip Sanchez, called the Garcias “thieves who stole his only son.”

The most emotional statement came from Narissa Sanchez, who was present at the time of the killing. She cried as she recounted seeing her brother “stumble and collapse” and remained in shock as first responders tried to revive him.

“I remember the doctor saying the words, ‘Phillip died,’” she said. “I collapsed on the floor and I hated the world. … The day he died felt like a part of me died with him.”

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.
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