Witness: TCB member said he stabbed man at nightclub
EDINBURG — A former Tri-City Bomber gang member testified Thursday that Luis Antonio Garcia claimed he stabbed a man at the 10th Avenue nightclub in April 2000.
Garcia, 27, who is also a Tri-City Bomber, is charged with murder in connection with the stabbing death of Rodolfo Landa Jr. during a late-night fight April 11, 2000. A club patron waved down a patrol officer after the stabbing. Landa, 22, died later that night at McAllen Medical Center.
Garcia was not arrested for Landa’s murder until five years later, after a McAllen police cold case investigator reopened the case and found additional witnesses. His trial began Tuesday in front of Auxiliary Court A, before visiting Judge Homer Salinas.
Dimencio Martinez, 27, told jurors that he was at the club on the night of the stabbing, but left before the fight broke out. He said he did not know Garcia then and did not know if Garcia was at the club. McAllen police questioned Martinez about the stabbing a few days after it occurred, but he claimed to know nothing about it.
Several months after the stabbing, Martinez was at a home where several Tri-City Bombers gang members, including Garcia, gathered frequently. Answering Assistant District Attorney Orlando Esquivel’s questions, Martinez said he heard Garcia discuss his involvement in the stabbing and the fight that led up to it.
"I heard him tell me and (another man) that he actually done the stabbing," Martinez said.
Martinez never saw the knife used in the stabbing and did not know where the knife was located, he said.
Under cross examination from defense attorney John Rivera, Martinez acknowledged a history of drug and alcohol abuse and said he was probably under the influence of cocaine when he spoke with Garcia. He also admitted he was a Tri-City Bomber gang member at the time, but no longer belonged to the gang or had contact with members.
A McAllen police cold case investigator traveled to San Marcos twice in 2004 to meet with Martinez, who now lives there. Martinez gave police a sworn affidavit about Garcia’s involvement.
Martinez said he told police what he knew about the murder four years after it took place because he wanted to leave his criminal life behind.
Testimony will continue today at 10 a.m.
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