Man Convicted of Murder in 2017 DUI Crash

My News LA reports that on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, an Indio jury convicted Robert Garcia Jr. of murder and DUI, causing injury in relation to a crash in Palm Springs in 2017.

According to court documents, the crash happened on January 30, 2017, at the intersection of Sunrise Way and Amado Road. 

Garcia was driving on Sunrise Way and attempted to make a left turn on to Amado Way. The turn was directly in the path of an SUV. The larger vehicle struck the passenger side of Garcia’s car, killing his front seat passenger and injuring a second passenger who had been riding in the back seat.

Two people inside the SUV also suffered moderate injuries in the collision. 

Officers conducted field sobriety tests, which Garcia failed. He also reportedly exhibited droopy eyelids, slurred speech, and other signs of intoxication. According to testimony given in a preliminary hearing in June of 2017 by Palm Springs Police Officer Eric Christiansen, Garcia admitted to officers at the scene that he had taken the painkiller Tramadol and had also smoked marijuana before the fatal crash. 

Officer Christiansen also said that officers investigating the crash scene found marijuana and drug paraphernalia inside Garcia’s vehicle. A toxicology screen of Garcia’s blood drawn 5 hours after the accident determined that he also had methamphetamine in his system.

Superior Riverside County Court Judge Dale Wells has set Garcia’s sentencing date for November 5, 2021. Garcia is facing 23 years to life in state prison

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