For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
OCDA TO OPPOSE PAROLE OF INMATE CONVICTED OF 1980 STABBING-MURDER OF MARINE OVER $10 LOAN
SANTA ANA – Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Tony Rackauckas is opposing the parole of an inmate convicted of murdering a Marine in 1980. Roy Garcia Garcia, 54, was convicted of one felony count of second degree murder and sentenced on Feb. 19, 1981, to 20 years to life in state prison. Garcia is currently being held at California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran. The case was originally prosecuted by former Deputy District Attorney Paul Meyer. The inmate is scheduled for a parole hearing tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. at the prison before the Board of Parole Hearings, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (Board). Senior Deputy District Attorney Jim Mendelson will appear at the hearing to oppose Garcia’s parole.
Murder of Eugene Brunelle
On the evening of Aug. 2, 1980, then-21-year-old Garcia, who was a Marine at Camp Pendleton, entered a San Clemente liquor store to purchase alcohol for a group of underage Marines. Inside the store, the inmate encountered a fellow Marine, 22-year-old Eugene Brunelle, and got into a verbal argument with him over $10 the victim owed Garcia. After the initial argument, Garcia purchased beer, walked out of the store, and crossed the street to deliver the alcohol to the underage Marines. The inmate then returned to the store with his pocket knife open in his back pocket and demanded to speak with Brunelle. As they walked toward the back of the store, the inmate unsuccessfully attempted to stab Brunelle after the victim started to put his arm around Garcia. The inmate then stepped back and lunged at the victim’s chest with the knife, stabbing Brunelle in the heart. Brunelle was taken to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
Lack of Insight and Threat to Public Safety
In Feb. 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger reversed the Board’s previous decision to parole Garcia primarily because the inmate had not demonstrated any insight into his actions and posed an unreasonable risk to public safety by failing to accept responsibility for his crime.
Since his last hearing, Garcia has still failed to gain appropriate insight into his life offense. The inmate has wavered between blaming his actions on his alcohol abuse and claiming that his crime was committed in self-defense rather than taking full responsibility for the murder of a fellow Marine.
While incarcerated, Garcia committed several prison rules violations including mutual combat, twice possessing illegal knives, and two assaultive stabbings. Despite his enrollment in some alcohol rehabilitation programs, Garcia still claims to be an alcoholic and has no relapse plan in place should he be released, which is concerning since he has blamed alcohol for his violent actions.
Due to the violent nature of his crime, his inability to follow rules in a controlled environment, and his lack of insight into his crime, Garcia represents a high risk of danger to society, and therefore, should not be released.