|Seventh defendant in beating case pleads guilty, receives 5-year sentence|
|Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor|
Nov. 1, 2005 -- The seventh of eight people indicted in the vicious beating of Marcus Wells Vaughn in 2004 pleaded guilty last week to charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
After hearing his guilty plea Thursday, Eighth Judicial District Judge Robert Newsom sentenced Juan Carlos Gonzales Garcia to a five-year prison sentence.
Garcia was the second person sentenced last week in connection with the attack. Juan Alvarez was handed a 20-year sentence in exchange for his plea of guilty to charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Trial for the eighth defendant, Damien Jolly, is set to begin in December, according to District Attorney Martin Braddy, who said a possibility exists for the start of that trial to be delayed.
�Procedurally, there are some things that could take place between now and then that could dramatically impact whether or not both sides would be prepared and ready to go to trial in December,� he said. �It was significant for us to be able to finalize the agreement with Mr. Alvarez ... as well as the Garcia case. That way, we can focus all of our attention in the remainder of our time with regard to Mr. Jolly and anyone associated with Mr. Jolly that may have been implicated by others.�
The district attorney called the investigative work leading up to the indictments and guilty pleas testament to work by county investigators and a community shocked by the viciousness of the attack on Marcus Vaughn.
�This is a prime example of how important it is for the community to work together with law enforcement and for law enforcement to do an expeditious and thorough investigation,� Braddy said. �As this began, we did not have any initial suspects. However, through some very good law enforcement techniques, we were able to track down everybody involved.�
The community also provided very helpful assistance, Braddy said.
�Violent crime is a rarity in this county,� he said. �That is because the citizens in this community, as a whole, won�t stand for it.�