Police Say Man Tried to Cover Up the Murder of His Ex-girlfriend

Published 08/02 2012 05:47PM

Updated 08/02 2012 07:07PM

    Jerry Joe Garza, who's charged in the murder of his former girlfriend, 31-year-old Monica Partida, was supposed to be in court Wednesday for the reading of his rights, but he told jailers he wasn't going.
    But Thursday, Judge Marc Newman told jailers Garza had no option.
    But many of the judge's questions to Garza via close circuit TV remained unanswered.
    "Mr. Garza, please respond.  Mr. Garza?," Judge Newman asked.
    Garza was silent and hung his head through most of the hearing.
    The only words he uttered came when Judge Newman said he absolutely had to have an answer on whether he wanted an examining trial set to hear the evidence.
    "An examining trial is a formal hearing that's generally presided over by a justice of the peace," the judge tried to explain.
    Garza finally responded, with a profanity
    After the hearing, his arrest affidavit was released.
    It states Garza tried to cover up the murder of 31-year-old Monica Partida to throw off the investigation by leaving a note saying Partida had ties to a San Angelo drug deal that had gone bad.
    Police say there was also a clear plastic baggy containing a white powdery substance next to Partida's body, and powder had been dusted over her body and the murder scene.
    They say a corner of the back was bitten off.
    Detectives tested the saliva remnants left on the bag and were able to trace it back to Garza.
    Partida's body was found in a pool of blood in the kitchen inside her home.
    Manuel Borrego, WFPD interim police chief, says, "During the investigation, it was determined she died of sharp, blunt trauma.  We know that she was stabbed."
    Officers say they found a bloody knife next to Partida's body.
    A medical examiner says Partida had 18 stab wounds to her body.
    The report states she also had a bite mark on her right forearm
    DNA from that mark was also traced back to Garza.
    Police say Garza wore gloves during the murder, but left those at the scene as well.
    They also say Garza told them he wasn't in Wichita Falls at the time Partida was murdered.
    But officers say they have video evidence of Garza getting on a bus in Dallas the evening of Feb. 8, arriving at the Jolly bus station later that evening, and evidence he was dropped off in the vicinity of Partida's home on Britain by a taxi around 9 p.m, and going back to the Jolly bus station by taxi just after midnight.
    Garza's bond is set at $3.5 million, which includes bonds for two charges of aggravated assault in connection with a bar fight police said arose from Garza's jealously over Partida.
    He has a criminal record of assault and injury to a child.

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