Fresno Man Sentenced for Killing Hmong Vet

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Fresno man was sentenced on Monday to spend much of the rest of his life in prison for beating a Hmong war veteran to death -- a slaying the judge called "brutal and senseless."

The slaying took place a year ago, when Va Ger Vang, 63, was collecting cans near Belmont and First.

Authorities say Francisco Garcia, 23, beat Vang to death for no apparent reason.

Garcia denied doing it, though his shoe tracks were on the scene and the victim's blood was on his sweater.

A jury convicted Garica of second-degree murder.

On Monday, Vang's wife cried when she told Judge Kent Hamlin, "My husband was a good man. I don't know why he killed my husband."

Garcia's mother told the judge, "I'm sorry for what happened. I don't believe he did it."

Judge Hamlin said the evdence against Garcia was :overwhelming," and called it an "unthinkably brutal and senseless crime." the likes of which he had not seen before.

He sentenced Garcia to the maximum he could under the law -- 38 years to life in prison.


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