Jury reviews post-arrest interview of man accused of killing teen at 2019 party

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The trial of the man accused of fatally shooting a teen during a homecoming party will continue Tuesday.  Izaiah Garcia, 20, is facing first-degree murder, aggravated assault and evidence tampering charges for his role in the 2019 shooting.

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Tuesday, we finally got an idea of how homicide detectives connected Garcia to the death of 17-year-old Sean Markey two years ago at a homecoming after-party. The detective on the case took the stand Tuesday in the fifth day of the murder trial against Garcia. The lead detective who was called out the night of the party at a house near Montgomery and Eubank says it took a few weeks to get in touch with witnesses, but when she did, many of them mentioned the same name, Izaiah Garcia.

“After speaking with Tanner White and the information you got from him, what was the next step in your investigation?” asked a lawyer on behalf of the State. “I drafted an arrest warrant for Izaiah Garcia,” replied Det. Sarah Kastendieck.

Det. Kastendieck says when officers finally found Garcia a few days later, Garcia had barricaded himself in his girlfriend’s home on Granite Street near Bianchetti Park. She says maybe half an hour later, he came out of the house and was taken into custody where he was transported to an APD station for his interview. Tuesday afternoon, the jury heard the post-arrest interview with Garcia and what he says happened the night Markey was killed.

“Didn’t I see that you already got the person who did it? So why am I here?” Garcia asked during the interview. “On the Sandia High School shooting?” Det. Kastendieck followed up with. “Yes,” Garcia replied.

“That’s what you’re being arrested for,” Kastendieck continued. “That’s why you’re here. You’re being arrested for a homicide. That’s why I need to hear your side of the story.”

During the police interview, Garcia told detectives his friend found out about the party so they went. He says they saw people with guns and his friend felt uncomfortable so they decided to leave. As they left, he says that’s when they heard gunshots near the house and they ran straight to their cars and immediately took off.

Garcia also said that he did not have a gun with him that night and did not own one. Kastendieck continued to say that he was lying as she had surveillance camera footage that went against everything he was telling her.

“I’m not going to come back to this. This is your one chance. But if you don’t even want to be truthful about who was driving and partying where, we’re wasting each other’s time,” Kastendieck told Garcia during the interview. “Then I guess you’re wasting your time because that’s how we got there,” Garcia replied.

Tuesday morning’s session was delayed because of an issue with a juror. However, Judge Loveless says the trial is expected to wrap up on time before the end of this week.

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