Trial: Man accused of concealing information about murder
September 19, 2005
The jury trial of a man accused of hiding information in a murder earlier this year began Monday afternoon and lasted for more than an hour before recessing for the day.
Acevedo Javier Garcia is accused of accessory – an attempt to conceal information – a felony that could send the 20-year-old to state prison for up to three years.
In his opening statement, Deputy District Attorney Tony Sears said Garcia told investigators a “pack of lies” regarding the January murder of Joel Bravo, who was shot in the head in his apartment at 3546 Spruce Ave.
Sears said Garcia gave authorities a minimum of three stories, from denying he was in Bravo’s apartment to identifying who fired the fatal shot.
Garcia’s attorney Lori London said her client was pressured and threatened by authorities during interviews on two consecutive days in March. The threats, which included having Garcia’s girlfriend being publicly arrested at her school, influenced Garcia’s statements, London said.
The murder of Bravo is not a central focus in the trial but both attorneys are expected to refer to the crime scene where Bravo’s body was found covered in a blanket and under a pool of blood. Garcia is not accused of killing Bravo.
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Monday was mostly filled with jury selection. Thirteen women and one man were picked for the jury with one alternate juror. South Lake Tahoe police officer Mike Dente was the first witness called by Sears and testified for about 70 minutes before El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Jerald Lasarow halted the proceedings for the day. Dente was still answering questions from the prosecution when the break was announced.
Testimony is scheduled to resume today at 8:30 a.m. in department four.