Mario Garcia’s murder conviction stands

By: Penne Usher, Journal Correspondent
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The California Court of Appeals Third District ruled Wednesday to uphold Mario Garcia’s conviction for first-degree murder. Garcia, of Auburn, is currently serving a 59-year-to-life sentence for the 2005 murder of 27-year-old Christie Wilson. Garcia’s lawyer had filed an appeal, arguing that the conviction should be overturned and Garcia provided a new trial because evidence used in the trial was wrongfully seized. “The court affirmed Mario Garcia’s conviction as first-degree murder,” said Deputy District Attorney Garen Horst, who successfully prosecuted Garcia in Placer County’s first no-body homicide. Garcia was convicted of first-degree murder in November 2006. He was the last person seen with Wilson when the two were caught on videotape leaving Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln in the early morning hours of Oct. 5, 2005. Wilson’s body has not yet been recovered, despite massive searches during her initial disappearance and searches conducted after Garcia’s sentencing. — Penne Usher