Man Pleads Not Guilty to Stabbing Father-In-Law 40 Times, Killing Him

A young man pleaded not guilty to murdering his father-in-law and stabbing him 40 times during a 4th of July celebration. 

22-year-old Joseph Henry Garcia is accused of a homicide that occurred on the 3100 block of National Avenue in Logan Heights around 7 p.m. Saturday night, police said. 

"The victims spine was stabbed during this attack which paralyzed his arms so there are no defensive wounds on the victim yet he was still stabbed forty times because the victim was just stuck after his spine was disabled," said Prosecutor Rebecca Zipp in court.

On July 4, 54-year-old Hermeneglido Para died in a house's yard after a physical fight. Police said family and friends gathered at a home in the 3100 block of National Avenue when the fight occurred. 

The suspect fled the scene in a car, police said, which was later found in the South Bay. Late Sunday, Garcia was arrested at the Otay Mesa Point of Entry, according to San Diego Police.

The prosecutor argued because Garcia fled to Mexico, bail should be set at $1 million, in addition to the stab wounds. 

The defense attorney pointed out that Garcia had 29 family members in court supporting him, including, he said, the victim's two daughters. The defense indicated there may be mitigating circumstances. 

The judge set bail at $850,000. 

If convicted of first degree murder, Garcia could face 26 years to life in prison. 

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