Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said this week he plans to file a response to convicted murderer , filed Dec. 22, 2011.
The response, which could be presented Friday morning when the case is back in Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose, will essentially oppose criminal attorney Edward Sousa's 92-page motion for a new trial for Garcia, found guilty of first-degree murder by a jury in October of 2010 in connection with the killing of well-known
Achilli sold the now-closed 180 Restaurant & Lounge and to Garcia. Prosecutors say Garcia ordered Achilli killed after he became enraged when a woman bartender they had both dated chose Achilli over him.
Shooter Lucio Estrada was tried along with Garcia and middleman Miguel Chaidez. Estrada was convicted of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Chaidez was also convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Garcia's sentencing, however, has been in limbo for more than a year.
"We'll be opposing the defendant's motion for a new trial," said Rosen, who prosecuted the high-profile murder-for-hire case prior to becoming the county's top legal watchdog.
"We believe the defendant had competent counsel at trial," Rosen said.
In December, Sousa also filed a motion to continue the case and requested footage from surveillance cameras at the 180 Restaurant & Lounge, next to , be examined by the judge.
Rosen said his office is providing that footage and said he didn't know what Sousa was hoping to get out of it.
Also in December, another piece of evidence—an Oct. 4, 2010 transcript—which was deemed confidential during Garcia's trial, was entered as an exhibit in Sousa's motion for a new trial.
Rosen said only Sousa knows why he wants to use the transcript, which basically contains a written account of a conversation between Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge David Cena and Garcia's former attorney Harry Robertson about a key witness never put on the stand and who would have testified that someone else ordered the hit on Achilli.
Robertson withdrew from the case after almost three years of representing Garcia citing a conflict of interest, and two weeks before he was scheduled to be sentenced.
Rosen said he didn't know why the transcript was sealed and noted he wasn't a part of the conversation between Cena and Robertson about the witness.
According to Sousa's motion for new trial, such witness would have proven that Achilli was killed due to drug debt.
But Rosen said there was no evidence presented at trial that the case had anything to do with drugs. "That's what 12 jurors found after a very long trial with competent representation," he stressed.
Cena told the public in December that Garcia will not be sentenced Friday, Jan. 13, nor will his motion for a new trial be heard. The judge said he will meet with Rosen and Sousa to set a date on the motion for new trial, or sentencing.
"We believe the defendant received a very fair trial the first time ... I would like sentencing to occur as soon as possible to bring some finality and closure to the victim's family," Rosen said.