Ivan Garcia, 26, of Garden Grove, was sentenced to 40 years to life in state prison for the unprovoked shooting a man moving his car, resulting in injuries that left the victim confined to a wheelchair with a chunk of his brain missing.
Garcia in February was convicted by a jury of one felony count
each of attempted murder
and street terrorism with sentencing enhancements and allegations for
attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation, criminal street
gang activity, and the personal discharge of a firearm causing great
His sentence was the maximum allowed under state law.
David Puga and his wife returned to their home on a
cul-de-sac after grocery shopping around 9:30 p.m. on April 27, 2008.
Nearby, Garcia and another gang member were tagging a block wall, crossing out the
graffiti of a rival gang and covering it with graffiti denoting their
After the couple put the groceries away, Puga, a
45-year-old father of five, went back outside to move his car from the
street into his driveway.
For some unknown reason, Garcia pulled out a gun and shot Puga three times, with the
bullets striking the dad's neck, arm and foot.
Garcia continued shooting at Puga as the victim tried to crawl toward his home
Dorothy Puga, the victim's wife, called 9-1-1 after hearing the gunshots
and seeing her husband collapsed on the front doorstep of their home,
He wound up having to have a large section of his
brain removed. Puga now suffers from a permanent loss of physical
control and is confined to a wheelchair. He also suffers from memory
loss and substantially lacks basic motor and verbal functions.
Garcia and his partner in crime darted off, but a witness saw one of the taggers throw the
graffiti spray can he'd been carrying into a dumpster near a convenience
store. Police officers retrieved the spray can and submitted it for DNA
The DNA matched that of Garcia, who was in the DNA database
for a prior
conviction from 2008 for being an accessory after the fact to a gang
The second gang
member has not been identified.
The Orange County District Attorney's Office released a press release today that includes the impact statements Puga's wife and daughter gave during the sentencing hearing.
“All I have to say to you, Ivan, is that you will suffer in jail
like my husband has to suffer for the rest of his life,” Dorothy Puga said. “You have not
only hurt our family, but by the way I see your mother crying in the
courtroom, you have hurt your family as well.”
“I will never forget the way my dad was looking at me as he
lay on the driveway on his back with blood pouring out of his neck,” said the Pugas' daughter, who was 16 at the time of the shooting. “I
was screaming out loud, 'Dad, please don't die!'”