Reputed Gang Member Indicted In Cop Killing

Reputed Gang Member Indicted In Cop Killing

Rookie Burbank Police Officer Was Killed Last Year

Apr 27, 2004 1:55 pm US/Pacific

An alleged gang member pleaded not guilty Tuesday to an eight-count indictment that accuses him of murdering one Burbank police officer and trying to kill another during a shootout.

The indictment, unsealed Tuesday, charges David A. Garcia with the Nov. 15, 2003, murder of rookie Officer Matthew Pavelka and the attempted murder of Officer Greg Campbell.

The indictment also alleges the special circumstance allegations of murder of a peace officer in the line of duty and murder for the purpose of avoiding arrest.

Prosecutors have not yet decided if they will seek the death penalty, said Deputy District Attorney Keri Modder.

Garcia, 20, is being held without bail pending his next appearance in Los Angeles Superior Court for a pretrial hearing May 27.

Along with murder and attempted murder, the indictment accuses Garcia of one count each of transportation of methamphetamine and possession of a silencer, along with two counts of possession of a machine gun and possession of an assault weapon.

Garcia managed to elude arrest following a fierce gunbattle that left Pavelka, 26, and Garcia’s alleged accomplice, Ramon Aranda, 25, dead. Campbell was hospitalized with gunshot wounds to the stomach and neck.

About 200 officers — including those from Burbank, Glendale and Los Angeles police departments, the FBI and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department — followed up on leads on Garcia’s possible whereabouts after the shootout near Burbank Airport.

Garcia was arrested in Tijuana on Thanksgiving Day after an extensive manhunt, then turned over to U.S. authorities at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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