Man gets life sentence for girlfriend's killing

November 20, 2009 5:25:08 PM PST
A man will spend the rest of his life in prison for brutally killing his girlfriend while young children watched. Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon announced today that Jose Garcia-Ticas was convicted and was sentenced by a jury to life in prison for the brutal beating and stabbing death of his live-in girlfriend, Sabrina Silva. The defendant had plead guilty and elected to have a jury impose sentencing for the crime.

The defense attorneys, Bryon Hatchet and Brian Burns, asked the jury to convict Garcia-Ticas of manslaughter and assess a lesser time of prison. It took the Montgomery County jury about 30 minutes to assess the maximum sentence in the case.

Prosecutors Patti Maginnis and Tyler Dunman presented evidence that Garcia-Ticas and Silva were in a relationship for close to five years and that this relationship was one where the victim was subjected to multiple acts of domestic violence. On February 22, Garcia-Ticas and the victim got into an argument which quickly escalated into physical violence. The defendant stabbed Silva multiple times with several knives and beat her with what appeared to be wooden bar stool pieces.

The beating lasted for approximately three hours and occurred in several rooms. The couple had three children (aged 5, 3, and 2) living with them at the time. The children witnessed the murder and were also covered with their mother's blood.

Prosecutors alleged that the defendant then cleaned things up, put the victim in a car, and drove her down to Houston where he dropped her off at a hospital claiming that she was found that way when he got home. The defendant later confessed to the crime and it took police three days to process the scene due to the extreme violence and the amount of blood at the location.

The medical examiner stated that this was the worst beating victim she had ever seen. In other punishment evidence, the prosecutors played a jail recording of the defendant wherein he stated that he would get maybe 10-20 years for the death and the prosecutors also introduced some of the defendant's military records showing he had been discharged for violent conduct.

District Attorney Brett Ligon said, "The imposition of the maximum sentence in this case is more than appropriate in this case. I would like to thank the jury for their service and their quick imposition of this just sentence."


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