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Wife killer gets time to think about what he did

CONROE – A Splendora man who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder last month in the Feb. 23 beating death of his wife learned his fate on Thursday in the 284th state District Court of Judge Cara Wood.

A jury sentenced 29-year-old Jose Israel Garcia, a.k.a. Jose Garcia-Ticas, to life in prison for killing Sabrina Lupe Silva, his common-law wife and the mother of his children.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Detectives and Crime Scene Investigators poured over the single-wide mobile home in the 14500 block of Three S for days after Garcia arrived at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston, driving a pickup with his bloody lifeless wife inside, along with their three children ages 2 to 5 years.

When they arrived at the hospital, Garcia had Silva taken inside the emergency room and then he left and dropped the children off with a relative. He returned to the hospital and when law enforcement was contacted, Garcia first said he found his wife beaten when he went home from work. However, he soon confessed and was arrested.

At the time of Garcia’s arrest, MCSO Lt. Bill Bucks said Silva was beaten severely “literally, from head to toe.” The children were inside the small trailer during the deadly beating, and while it was unclear how much they saw or heard, investigators said evidence showed the beating occurred in more than one room.

In the days that followed, detectives learned the couple had an “on-again off-again” relationship, and reconciled a very short time before the murder. They moved from Houston to the Splendora residence with their children just eight days prior to Silva’s death. Garcia drove his dying or dead wife and their children 40 miles to a hospital, passing multiple hospital exits along the way.

Garcia told investigators a simple argument led to the beating inside the isolated mobile home on a dead-end street.

Statement from the office of Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon:Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon announced today that Jose Garcia-Ticas was convicted and was sentenced by a jury to life in prison for the brutal beating and stabbing death of his live-in girlfriend, Sabrina Silva. The defendant had earlier plead guilty to the offense and elected to have a jury impose sentencing for the crime. The defense attorneys, Bryon Hatchet and Brian Burns, asked the jury to convict him of manslaughter and assess a lesser time of prison. It took the Montgomery County jury about 30 minutes to assess the maximum sentence in the case. Patti Maginnis and Tyler Dunman with the District Attorney’s Office state that the murder occurred on February 22, 2009.

Prosecutors presented evidence that Garcia-Ticas and Silva were in a relationship for close to five years and that this relationship was one where the victim was subjected to multiple acts of domestic violence. On the above date, Garcia-Ticas and the victim got into an argument which quickly escalated into physical violence. The defendant stabbed Silva multiple times with several knives and beat her with what appeared to be wooden bar stool pieces. The beating lasted for approximately three hours and occurred in several rooms.

The couple had three children (aged 5, 3, and 2) living with them at the time. The children witnessed the murder and were also covered with their mother’s blood. Prosecutors alleged that the defendant then cleaned things up, put the victim in a car, and drove her down to Houston where he dropped her off at a hospital claiming that she was found that way when he got home. The defendant later confessed to the crime and it took police three days to process the scene due to the extreme violence and the amount of blood at the location. The medical examiner stated that this was the worst beating victim she had ever seen. In other punishment evidence, the prosecutors played a jail recording of the defendant wherein he stated that he would get maybe 10-20 years for the death and the prosecutors also introduced some of the defendant’s military records showing he had been discharged for violent conduct. District Attorney Brett

Ligon states: “The imposition of the maximum sentence in this case is more than appropriate in this case. I would like to thank the jury for their service and their quick imposition of this just sentence.”

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