Monica Murder Suspect Back In Court

Monica Murder Suspect Back In Court

The man accused in the brutal death of his girlfriend Monica Partida appeared in the 78th District Court Thursday afternoon.

During the pre-trial conference, Jerry Joe Garza filed two motions.  The first motion was for a change of venue and the seconds was that he no longer appear for pre-trial conferences.  The judge didn't rule on either motion.

Garza's Public Defender Brennon Brady withdrew himself in April, citing numerous, but failed attempts to get Garza to communicate and participate.  Court documents also said 41-year-old Garza engaged in a pattern of hostile behavior in and out of the court that has caused a breakdown the attorney-client relationship.  Other instances of his disruptive behavior include yelling profanities at the judge and refusing to leave his jail cell to go to court hearings.

Garza was charged with the murder of his ex-girlfriend Monica Partida, a Wichita Falls mother of three.  The affidavit states Partida was found stabbed to death in her own home off Britain St. in February 2011.  Family members told police the victim lived alone but had an abusive ex-boyfriend, named Jerry Garza.

Officers saw a broken window after discovering both back and front doors were locked. A patrol officer climbed through the window and found Partida dead in her kitchen with a bloody knife lying near her.

The autopsy report found that 32-year-old Partida was suffocated and stabbed more than a dozen times.She also had numerous blunt force trauma to her face and head and a bite mark on her right forearm. DNA from the bite matched Garza's. A mixture of Partida's and Garza's DNA was found inside gloves used during the murder were left at the scene. An imprint of one of the gloves was left on the wall of the victim's kitchen. One was also found on the victim's shorts.

Police interviewed Garza's uncle who said he took his nephew to the bus station in Dallas the day before Partida's body was found. Police said they have video evidence of Garza leaving the Dallas station that night at 7 p.m. and arriving at the Jolly station less than six hours later.

They have further evidence showing that Garza took a cab to the neighborhood near the victim's home and was dropped off there just before 9 p.m. He arrived back at the Jolly truck stop by taxi at a little after 12:30 a.m.

The uncle said he got a call from Garza the next day who said he was on a bus from Wichita Falls, going through Ft. Worth, and asked the uncle pick him up in Dallas.

Police believe Garza staged the crime scene to throw off the investigation. A clear plastic baggy with a powdery substance was left on the victim's body. A note was also left indicating the victim had ties to a San Angelo drug deal that had gone bad. DNA on the baggie also matched Garza's.

According to the Court Administrator's Office, 78th District Judge Barney appointed Reggie Wilson to now represent Garza.

Stay with Newschannel 6 as we continue to follow this investigation.