ECTOR COUNTY, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- Update: This morning Angelica Garcia plead guilty to 2 counts of intoxicated manslaughter with possible punishment of no less than 2 years and no more than 20 years. Garcia is in the punishment phase as of now.
The trial for a woman accused of driving while drunk and killing six-year-old twin girls, Mia and Mya Coy, began Monday. Angelica Garcia has been charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter.
After multiple coronavirus related delays, jurors were selected Monday and the 12 men and women, as well as two alternate jurors, will hear the case this week. Following the jury selection, the court heard from Odessa Police Cpl. Chris Adams who testified about what he saw when he responded to the crash. Jurors also saw body cam footage from the scene.
Upon arrival, Adams saw two people performing CPR on the girls, one of those performing CPR was the girls’ mother, a nurse. Moving away from the twins, Adams approached Garcia, who was heard saying, “Please don’t tell me they’re dead…”.
While the trial was scheduled to resume today, Judge Denn Whalen announced just after 9:00 a.m. that the court would recess until Wednesday because one of the prosecuting attorneys had been sick throughout the night. The trial is expected to last at least until Thursday.
Later this week, jurors will hear more testimony from witnesses and will learn what Garcia’s blood alcohol level was that night.
Ahead of the trial, defense attorney Michael McLeaish filed a motion before the court asking for a change of venue. He cited coverage of the crash by local media as one of the reasons Garcia might not receive a fair trial locally.
“News media, digital, television, and print media have all stated false, and actually salacious statements about the defendant’s condition at the time of the accident,” he wrote in the motion.
In short, the attorney said the media reported Garcia as having slurred speech and bloodshot eyes when she was arrested. Her attorney told the court her slurred speech came from an injury to her mouth that required stitches. He said the bloodshot eyes were from crying after the crash.
He also said news interviews with “grieving parents” might have caused potential jurors to form a pre-trial opinion about his client. Further, McLeaish cited “Justice for Mia and Mya” bumper stickers as well as an online petition with more than 20,000 signatures calling for justice as evidence of public opinion regarding his client.
That motion was later rejected.
Here is what we know about the case so far:
On July 3, 2019, Garcia and her husband had drinks at Toby’s Lounge located in the MCM Grande Hotel and Fun Dome on E Highway 80, just west of where the crash occurred. The husband and wife drove separately to the bar and, after about three hours of drinking, left in their own cars with Garcia leading the way. Although both had been drinking, court records showed her husband, when given a breathalyzer test, blew 0.025, well below the legal limit of 0.08.
Just a few minutes away from Toby’s Lounge, off E Highway 80 and Club Drive, the Coy sisters were playing near the family’s firework stand. Operated by the Coy family for several years, they had gathered around the stand to discuss plans for the Fourth of July, according to the twins’ parents in an interview shortly after they died.
According to court records, after leaving Toby’s Lounge, Garcia reportedly headed east on the frontage road, ran a stop sign at Club Drive, hit a curb, then hit the twins, and then a generator before coming to a stop. Garcia’s attorney has argued in court documents that Garcia wasn’t aware the frontage road wasn’t a thru road.
He said the road used to go all the way to Midland. But that hasn’t been the case for many years. According to Google Earth, in December of 2009, the road was partially obliterated, and barriers were placed along the frontage road to prevent thru traffic. The road closure was part of a project to install a traffic light at Faudree Road.
This is a developing story and ACB Big 2 News will be in the court room Wednesday, we will update as the trial unfolds.