Senior deputy DA receives state ‘Prosecutor of the Year’ award

By: Jenifer Gee, Journal Staff Writer
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One of Placer County’s own was recently honored with a statewide recognition that gave him a “humbling feeling.” Placer County Senior Deputy District Attorney Garen Horst was recently named the Outstanding Prosecutor of the year for 2007 for rural and medium counties in the state. The California District Attorneys Association gives the annual award. “The more I do this job, the more I realize the great work being done in my office and around the state,” Horst said. “You get something like this and it’s a little humbling.” When presented with the award, Horst’s work in prosecuting Mario Flavio Garcia, was mentioned. The 2006 case resulted in the conviction of Garcia in the death of Christie Wilson. Wilson’s body is still missing. During that trial, Horst called 89 witnesses, used 800 exhibits and reviewed 10,000 pages of material, according to a news release from the Placer County District Attorney’s Office. As a result of his work on the case, Horst has authored an article “Techniques Used in a No-body Homicide Prosecution,” which was published in the fall 2007 edition of “Prosecutor’s Brief.” Horst has also helped several counties including San Joaquin, Alameda and Yolo with high-profile homicide cases. “What I’ve learned is we learn from each other,” Horst said. “To the extent I have something to I offer, I feel it’s important to share whether it’s teaching or training or writing about the Garcia case. If it will help anyone or any law enforcement or prosecution around the state in being able to seek justice, it’s a big thing for me to do.” Horst received the award at the association’s conference in San Diego last month. Horst’s family as well as Placer County District Attorney Brad Fenocchio, attended the ceremony. “I wouldn’t miss it,” Fenocchio said. “The talent that this office has and that is carried by individual prosecutors in the office has once again been recognized statewide.” In 2004, Placer County prosecutor Tom Beattie also received the same award. Horst said he remembers attending that ceremony. “I have the utmost respect for him,” Horst said. “He’s like a mentor for me and to be recognized for this award is quite inspiring.” Horst said he hopes to continue role as a prosecutor and continue to work alongside and learn from his peers. “It’s inspired me to do more work and perhaps live up to what the honor represents,” Horst said. The Journal’s Jenifer Gee can be reached at or post a comment at