|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 31, 2021
Case # 20CF2621
Public Information Officer
Office: 714-347-8405, Cell: 714-504-1917
Nevada Man Convicted of First Degree Murder for Strangling 81-year-old Man to Death in his Newport Beach Bedroom
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Nevada man was convicted Tuesday by a jury of first degree murder for strangling an 81-year-old man to death in his sleep in 2015. Prosecutors argued the murder was an attempt to gain control over the estate of the victim’s dying wife, but the jury did not find the special circumstance of murder for financial gain to be true.
Anthony Thomas Garcia, of Carson City, Nev., was convicted of one felony count of first degree murder. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 28, 2021 at the Central Justice Center in Department C35.
A previous jury was unable to reach a verdict and charges were refiled against Garcia last year.
Abelardo “Abby” Lopez Estacion was found dead in his Newport Beach bedroom by his live-in caretaker on April 11, 2015. He had been strangled.
At the time of his death, Estacion had been arguing with members of his wife’s family over her assets, which included valuable real estate in several Orange County cities along with bank accounts. Estacion and Dortha Lamb had dated for more than 20 years, but had only recently been married. Garcia is the former boyfriend of Lamb’s granddaughter and he is the father of two of Lamb’s great-granddaughters.
Lamb was dying from terminal cancer and suffered from dementia at the time of her husband’s murder.
Lamb’s family members accused Estacion of capitalizing on his wife’s health issues in order to take control of her assets.
The day of Estacion’s murder Lamb’s family had asked a judge to grant a temporary restraining order against Estacion and force him to move out of the Newport Beach home. The judge denied the request.
Hours later, Estacion was strangled to death in his bedroom.
“The entire prosecution team worked tirelessly to ensure the family of Abby Lopez received justice and I could not be prouder of the work they did,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “This is a tragic case of how a family squabble over money and property crossed the line into murder. I want to thank the jurors for their careful consideration of the evidence and returning a guilty verdict that will keep a coldblooded killer behind bars for a very long time.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney Seton Hunt of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.