The last of four defendants in the murder of Nevada Insurance Examiner William McCune changed his plea to guilty Friday.
Raul Garcia Jr. admitted to District Judge James Wilson he was guilty of first-degree murder in McCune’s April 2013 beating death.
He said he and the other defendants went to McCune’s Silver Oak Drive apartment to rob him because they believed he had a lot of money.
Asked what he did, Garcia said: “I was present at the time everything took place at the apartment so I’m just as guilty as everyone else.”
Wilson set sentencing in the case for Oct. 27. There are only three possible penalties for the court to decide: Life in prison without the possibility of parole, life with parole possible after 20 years or 50 years in prison with parole possible after 20 years.
But he will have to serve at least 20 years because there are no good time credits available to reduce a murder sentence.
“By the entry of this plea, this concludes the case as to all of the defendants,” said Assistant DA Mark Krueger after Wilson accepted Garcia’s guilty plea.
Until he changed his plea, Garcia was facing trial on not only the murder charge but burglary, robbery, conspiracy and illegal possession of McCune’s credit cards as well as the senior enhancement for crimes against a person over age 60.
The other three pleaded guilty in deals with the District Attorney’s office earlier this year and have already been sentenced. Makyla Blackmore, who wasn’t in the apartment when McCune was beaten to death, was allowed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of the credit cards. Michael Evans and Anthony Elliott were allowed plea bargains as well, getting 10-25 year sentences.
But Evans reneged on the deal, refusing to testify at Garcia’s arraignment.
That prompted Krueger to say he would try and get Judge Todd Russell to unwind the plea bargain so Evans could be charged with the full five felonies, including murder.
But Krueger said Friday Evans has since agreed to testify at Garcia’s sentencing.
Garcia was being held at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center after what Sheriff Ken Furlong described as an attempt to escape the Carson City Jail by breaking through a wall. Charges stemming from that incident also were dismissed as part of Friday’s plea.
The three men beat McCune to death at his apartment in an attempt to get the pin numbers for his credit cards. They took a number of valuables, then returned the next day to steal more things. They wrapped McCune’s body in a blanket with duct tape and dumped it in the Carson River.