BEAUMONT, TX—Two federal inmates have been sentenced to die for the murder of a fellow prisoner at the U.S. Penitentiary in Beaumont (USP-Beaumont) announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Mark Issac Snarr, 34, of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Edgar Balthazar Garcia, 30, of Abilene, Texas were sentenced to the death penalty today by U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone. Snarr and Garcia were found guilty by a jury of capital murder on May 7, 2010 following a trial which began on May 3, 2010. Jurors deliberated for less than 3 hours before recommending the death penalty.
According to information presented in court, on the afternoon of Nov. 28, 2007, Bureau of Prisons corrections officers were escorting inmates Snarr and Garcia to their cells at the USP-Beaumont. As they arrived at their cells, inmates Snarr and Garcia slipped from their hand restraints and immediately pulled homemade knives, or shanks, that had been hidden on their persons. The two began attacking one of the corrections officers, stabbing him in the chest and shoulders 23 times. The inmates then turned their attention to the other corrections officer and demanded that he turn over his cell keys. When he refused, he was stabbed twice before Snarr removed the keys from the guard’s belt.
Snarr and Garcia then unlocked the cell of inmate Gabriel Rhone. Snarr and Garcia immediately began to attack Rhone, stabbing him repeatedly with their shanks. Rhone was stabbed over 50 times, including a stab wound to his chest which penetrated his heart. Corrections officers were forced to use chemical agents through a locked door in order to stop the attack, which lasted several minutes and was captured by a surveillance camera. The wounded corrections officers and Rhone were transported to a local medical facility where Rhone was pronounced dead at approximately 4:15 pm.
Snarr and Garcia were indicted Jan. 21, 2009, and charged with first degree murder.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph R. Batte, Kerry Klintworth and Antonetta Stancu.
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