The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Grand jury: Shooting self-defense

 

February 23, 2020



PORTALES — A grand jury on Friday ruled a man acted in self-defense at a July house party in Roosevelt County and declined to indict him for a fatal shooting.

According to a news release from District Attorney Andrea Reeb:

Roosevelt County sheriff’s deputies on July 27 were called to reports of a large fight ending in a shooting. They arrived to find Derek Garcia, 24, had died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Devin Guidry, then 23, voluntarily spoke with the sheriff’s office and indicated he acted in self-defense after Garcia came at him with a knife. Two other people were injured in the fight, one with a gunshot wound to his leg and the other for multiple stab wounds.

Reeb said no witnesses, including the person who was stabbed, identified the stabber.

Reeb said in the release that an argument could be made for or against self-defense, and felt it appropriate to let the grand jury weigh the evidence.

“All evidence,” Reeb said, “both positive and negative, including testing results from the state crime lab, was presented to the grand jury to assist them in their decision. Ultimately the grand jury determined that the shooter acted in self-defense.”

Reeb said she would close the case and that she appreciated the patience of Garcia’s family as the investigation progressed.

An attempt to contact Garcia’s family following the grand jury decision was unsuccessful.

In July, Annmarie Garcia said her son had completed 38 career jumps as a U.S. Army paratrooper before receiving an honorable discharge in November 2018.

A friend, Quintin Carmichael, said Garcia was “a good man that served his country. If you needed him he was there ...”

Guidry attorney Dan Lindsey said he and his client were obviously pleased with the decision not to indict, but noted it was a sad day for everybody involved.

“When you’re highly intoxicated ... you’d have to expect somebody would use the force necessary to stop the attempted murders,” Lindsey said. “Unfortunately ... the only way to stop him was to use deadly force. We feel for the family as well, and Devin feels for the family.”

Reeb said Garcia’s blood-alcohol level was .14 percent. She said the only knife found at the scene was under Garcia’s body.

 
 

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