TEXAS (HCDAO) – A Houston man pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing an acquaintance in 2020 and was sentenced to 23 years in prison Monday, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
“This was a brutal stabbing, and our duty is to seek justice for the victim’s family,” Ogg said. “This agreement means the killer has taken responsibility and the family of the victim has a resolution without having to hear or see any more of the awful details.”
Oscar A. Garcia, 36, pleaded guilty to murder in exchange for a sentence of 23 years in prison for killing 39-year-old Hunter Penn on Oct. 8, 2020.
Garcia, Penn and a third man were on a Galleria-area shoplifting spree when an argument broke out between them. Garcia, who was apparently high on drugs, stabbed Penn about 85 times, including around his neck. The sedan they were in was driven to Denver Harbor and parked with Penn’s body in the back seat. Authorities found the car, and Houston Police Department detectives arrested Garcia for the murder about two weeks later.
Assistant District Attorney Lara Hogue, who prosecuted the case, said the victim’s family supported the plea agreement and wanted to see the case closed.
After Garcia was sentenced, the victim’s sister took the stand in open court to give a victim impact statement. She said she was a Christian and her family wanted to forgive the killer. Garcia, who was not expected to speak, told her that he was sorry.
“He said, ‘I’m so sorry,’ and I think that brought them some closure, which they really needed,” Hogue said. “I think it took a long time to get there, but he finally accepted responsibility.”
She noted that voluntary intoxication is not a valid legal defense and would not have been a defense at trial. The plea agreement means that Garcia cannot appeal the conviction or the sentence.
The third man has admitted guilt, and his case is scheduled for sentencing.