Defendant’s Mouth Taped Shut in Court - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Defendant’s Mouth Taped Shut in Court

Posted: Updated:

A Wichita Falls man accused of capital murder had his mouth duct taped shut in court.

Jerry Joe Garza, 40, is accused for the February 2012 murder of his ex-girlfriend Monica Partida. 

In his pre-trial conference Thursday morning, Garza entered a plea of not guilty.  Garza has been a handful for authorities and is well-known for being violent and uncooperative. 

While court was in session, Garza had angry outbursts and openly used profanity when speaking to his lawyers and the judge.  Wichita County 78th District Court Judge Barney Fudge ordered his mouth to be duct taped shut after he refused to keep quiet. He also had to be threatened with a taser. 

In February, Garza sent Newschannel 6 a letter from behind bars accusing his attorneys Michael Payne and Bruce Harris for waving his rights behind his back.  He recently sent another letter in March, accusing both Payne and Harris for conspiring against him and working with District Attorney Dobie Kosub to convict him.

His second letter stated, "The Wichita County Justice Department is corrupt. My attorneys are conspiring with the District Attorney's office to get me convicted." 

Garza also wrote, "Both of my attorneys were overheard by some fellow inmates discussing my case openly." 

Payne has denied those accusations and said they have made numerous attempts to connect with Garza but he refused to come out of his cell. 

Garza had previously filed a motion to remove his attorneys from the case claiming they lack interest, communication, knowledge and experience.  Payne and Harris are the third set of attorneys that have been appointed to Garza.  Garza's motion was denied by Judge Fudge.

Judge Fudge urged Garza to attend a physical evidence viewing with his attorneys on March 19th.  However, Garza refused to answer him and remained uncooperative until court was dismissed.

Garza also faces two other charges for aggravated assault in a separate incident. 

His bond for the capital murder charge has been set at $2.5 million and he remains behind bars. 

Stay with Newschannel 6 as we continue to follow Garza's case.


Cynthia Kobayashi, Newschannel 6.