Preliminary hearing set for murder suspect

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A two-day preliminary hearing has been scheduled for the Colusa man accused of slaying the mother of his child in January of 2018.

Salvador Garcia-Vaca, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Karen Garcia, will hear the prosecutor’s evidence against him on Jan. 16, 2020, almost two years to the day since Garcia’s body was found in her car in a parking lot in Woodland.

Garcia-Vaca, who was captured by the U.S. Marshals Service in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Aug. 1, after more than a year on the run, appeared in count on Oct. 9.

Garcia-Vaca has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge, and a single battery charge for the Dec. 29, 2017, domestic violence incident believed to be the precursor to the couple’s break up just prior to Karen’s death of blunt force trauma to her head.

Some of the victim’s friends attended last week’s court proceedings to show support.

Following Garcia’s death, her friends formed Karen’s House, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence and their children.

The organization’s goal is to open a domestic violence shelter in Colusa County. ■