Killer gets life in prison without parole | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Killer gets life in prison without parole

Sheila Gardner

Shannon Litz / T he Record-Courier / Ramiro Vazquez Galicia listens to his brother speak on his behalf at the sentencing in Judge Michael Gibbons' court on Monday.

MINDEN – A 36-year-old South Lake Tahoe man who stabbed and cut his estranged girlfriend 60 times, fractured her skull with a ball peen hammer, then cut off her hair as she was dying was sentenced Monday to life in prison without parole.

“This is an extremely brutal, outrageous crime,” District Judge Michael Gibbons told Ramiro Vazquez Galicia.

“You say you loved your family, but look what you’ve done. You’ve taken away your son’s mother and father. You’ve destroyed your family,” he said.

Vazquez Galicia pleaded guilty to first degree murder in the Nov. 19, 2006, death of Jazmin Gonzalez-Morgado in a room she was cleaning at the Horizon Casino Resort.

In exchange for his guilty plea, the prosecution did not seek the death penalty.

According to reports, Vazquez Galicia, outraged that she had sought an extension on a protection order against him and believing she had been unfaithful, hid in a closet in the room until she entered, then began the attack on her.

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At Monday’s three-hour sentencing Douglas County District Attorney Mark Jackson showed dozens of pictures of Gonzalez’s battered body and the bloody crime scene.

Vazquez Galicia looked away when the pictures were displayed on a screen.

“You didn’t want to look at those pictures, but that’s what you did to her,” Gibbons said.

“You’re going to wake up tomorrow. Jazmin Gonzalez is not. You’ll wake up the next day. Jazmin Gonzalez is not. There is no sentence this court can impose that compares what you did to her. I wish you were sorry, but I don’t think you are. You’re just sorry you got caught,” Gibbons said.

Gibbons outlined how Vazquez Galicia had 13 months from October 2005 when he was first prosecuted in El Dorado County for battery on Gonzalez to the murder in November which occurred three weeks after the victim received an extension on the protection order.

“It was the ultimate form of retaliation and retribution because you didn’t like what she was doing,” Gibbons said. “All she was doing was trying to protect herself.”

Gibbons imposed the maximum sentence.

Speaking through court-appointed interpreter Chris Houghton, Vazquez Galicia said he was sorry.

“I deserve whatever the worst punishment is I can get,” he said. “I don’t even believe it. I’ve cried a lot already. I don’t want to hurt anybody.”

Vazquez Galicia insisted he was motivated by love for his family and only wanted to explain how he felt to the victim.

Jackson said Vazquez Galicia was motivated by jealousy.

“He met her when she was 13 and he was 27. She had a baby, he came to the United States, then went back to Mexico because he believed Jazmin had a ‘bad attitude,'” Jackson said.

He said Vazquez Galicia brought Gonzalez to the United States to keep her under control, leaving their son in Mexico in the care of relatives.

Jackson said after Gonzalez obtained an extension on the protection order, Ramiro planned her execution for 15 days.

“Forty-six times he stabbed her; 14 times he cut her,” Jackson said. “While she’s bleeding out, he hits her two times with the hammer and cuts off all her hair.”

Jackson said he doubted Vazquez Galicia would ever understand the gravity of the crime or accept responsibility.

“She was nothing more than a piece of property to the defendant, something else he owned,” Jackson said.

Tod Young, Vazquez Galicia’s court-appointed attorney, agreed the crime was overkill.

“The wounds to Jazmin were far more than were ever necessary to kill her. Why is it so extreme? It’s not done as a form of torture. It’s because this comes about in an emotional, uncontrollable state once this starts,” Young said. “Once the confrontation began, he lost control.

“Their history at least started in love and generated a child that was the most important thing in Ramiro’s life,” Young said.

Vazquez Galicia’s brother and nephew testified Monday that they never saw him lose control and that he loved his family very much.

The victim’s family lives in Mexico and members were unable to attend.

In addition to the life sentence without parole, five years was added because Vazquez Galicia violated the extended protection order.

Vazquez Galicia also was ordered to pay $30,693.25 to the Horizon Casino Resort for damage to the hotel room.

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