Texas man sentenced for assaulting federal prosecutor in Houston courtroom

By The SE Texas Record | Jul 20, 2011

HOUSTON - A 33-year-old Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison for assaulting a federal prosecutor during a court appearance in the Southern District of Texas, according to Eastern District of Texas U.S. Attorney John M. Bales.

Jose Garcia Jr., of Mercedes, was found guilty by a jury on Jan. 10 of assaulting a federal employee and was sentenced to eight years in federal prison July 20 by U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon.

According to information presented in court, on May 22, 2009, Garcia was scheduled to appear in federal court in the Southern District of Texas in McAllen pursuant to a supervised release violation.

While being escorted into the courtroom, Garcia physically assaulted a U.S. deputy marshal with a razor blade causing serious bodily injury.

Garcia pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of the deputy marshal on Dec. 18, 2009, in federal court in Houston. On March 5, 2010, Garcia appeared in federal court in Houston to be sentenced for the attempted murder of the deputy marshal.

A few minutes into the hearing, Garcia became agitated with the court's ruling to deny withdrawal of his guilty plea and charged the assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case, causing the prosecutor to fall backwards against the railing of the jury box and breaking the prosecutor's fingers in the process.

Later that day, Garcia was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison for the attempted murder of the deputy marshal. He was indicted on July 21, 2010, and charged with assaulting the federal prosecutor.

Garcia's sentence of eight years for the assault of the federal prosecutor will be served consecutively to the 20 year sentence he is already serving for the attempted murder of the deputy marshal.

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert L. Hobbs of the Eastern District of Texas on appointment of the attorney general.

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