Accused killer fighting added felony charge


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Accused murderer Salvador Garcia-Vaca will contest a felony enhancement charge that would likely prevent him from ever gaining parole if he is convicted of killing longtime girlfriend, Karen Garcia.

Garcia-Vaca’s Yuba City defense attorney, Matthew C. Smith, filed the motion on Feb. 19 to dismiss the second felony charge of “lying in wait,” a special enhancement that could effect Garcia-Vaca’s sentence if he is convicted of first degree murder.

Garcia-Vaca, 23, is accused of killing Karen Garcia by blunt force trauma to her head on Jan. 8, 2018. Her body was discovered six days later in a Woodland shopping center parking lot, after Garcia-Vaca had already fled to Mexico in a vehicle reportedly stolen from his uncle, according to authorities.

Smith filed the PC 995 motion on Feb. 19 to dismiss the enhancement charge, which the law allows when lack of probable cause or insufficient evidence is claimed by the defense.

Colusa County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Thompson is expected to rule on the motion on April 1 before a murder trial can move forward. ■