Garcia receives 19 year sentence for role in Trooper's murder
Orlando Garcia in court during his trial.
Seven months after jurors found him guilty for his part in the murder of Tennessee State Trooper Calvin Jenks, Orlando Garcia was sentenced to 19 years behind bars Friday, and for the first time, he apologized to the Jenks' family for his actions.
"The reason why I came to look at you in the face was to say I'm sorry," Garcia said as he looked at the Jenks family. "It's horrible. It truly is horrible. There's not a day that goes by that I don't pray for each one of you."
Garcia's apology came just moments before he was sentenced to 19 years behind bars for his role in Jenks' murder.
"I cry. I cry for you, not just for me, but for you, because you lost somebody," he continued.
Garcia's attorney, Bill Massey, asked the judge for a lesser sentence, saying that he played a minor role in the murder and lacked judgment.
"Of course he had a chance to warn Trooper Jenks, and he wishes so many times he had, but he didn't, and that was a crime of omission," Massey said.
Jenks was shot when he pulled over Garcia and his accomplice, Alejandro Gauna, on a rural Tipton County road in January of 2007.
Calvin Jenks' father, Norm, said Garcia was just as responsible for his son's murder as the trigger man, Alejandro Gauna.
"As far as we're concerned, he set my son up for the initial murder itself, and that's how the family feels,” Norm Jenks said.
Jenks' mother lives near the cemetery where Calvin is buried.
"Lot of times, I go over there and all I want to do is try to dig him up, hold him, shake him awake and say, 'Cal, just wake up,'" she said.
Garcia is not eligible for probation, but could be out on parole after serving 30 percent of his sentence, which is about 6 and a half years.