At the Lake: Man to plead in casino murder |

At the Lake: Man to plead in casino murder

Provided by the Tahoe Daily Tribune

Ramiro Vazquez Galicia, charged with killing his estranged girlfriend at Horizon Casino Resort, intends to plead guilty to one count of murder while violating a restraining order later this month in Minden.

He faces life in prison without parole, life in prison with the possibility of parole or at least 50 years behind bars.

Charges of kidnapping and conspiracy will be dropped, as well as consideration of the death penalty, according to attorneys.

Vazquez Galicia, 36, has been in Douglas County Jail since November when he allegedly killed Jazmin Gonzalez-Morgado as he reportedly hid in a closet in a room she was cleaning and allegedly killed her with a hammer. The 22-year-old who worked as a housekeeper at Horizon obtained a restraining order against Vazquez Galicia two months before her death. It mandated Vazquez Galicia to stay away from Horizon.

Nathan Tod Young, Vazquez Galicia’s attorney, said he would hold comment until his client entered the plea in district court in Minden on March 26 at 9 a.m. in department two during an arraignment.

Prosecutor Mike McCormick deferred comment to Douglas County District Attorney Mark Jackson, who could not be reached.

Evan Garcia, an alleged accomplice, will appear in court April 27 for a preliminary hearing on a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy to violate a restraining order.

On Tuesday, Young voiced his client’s intentions before Judge Richard Glasson in Tahoe Township Justice Court. Galicia, shackled at the wrists and ankles and wearing the customary blue shirt and pants of a jail inmate, uttered a few “yes” and “no” answers through an interpreter to Glasson’s questions.

Glasson, who granted the restraining order against Vazquez Galicia in September, had little patience after a time and date was set for the Minden arraignment.

Young said his client made a written statement and would like it read in court.

Glasson replied the court no longer had jurisdiction in the case and had no desire to hear from Vazquez Galicia.

“Take him down,” Glasson told the bailiffs.

A nearly $21 million budget plan submitted to Nevada lawmakers by the bistate agency that regulates development at Lake Tahoe shows its staffing would increase by 14, but that increase already has occurred.

Jerry Wells, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s deputy executive director, said Tuesday that the increase occurred in 2006 and was covered mainly by revenues generated through increased permit fees and grants. He said the hires didn’t require Nevada lawmakers’ approval.

The agency’s funding proposal reviewed last week by state lawmakers wasn’t updated to show the current staffing level. Legislative analysts said that’s not unusual given the TRPA’s unique status as a bistate agency separate from the executive branch of state government.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s proposed budget is about $10.4 million yearly for the coming two fiscal years. That includes revenue from permit fees, grants, federal dollars and money from California and Nevada. Nevada would provide about $1.9 million each year, while California’s yearly share would be about $3.8 million.

While the parts may be a little different, the finish line remains the same for the Whittell High School track team.

The Warriors have a new coach. They lost several contributors off last year’s team. And they will have limited service from several key returners.

But the Whittell girls still haven’t lost sight of their ultimate goal ” a third consecutive 2A state championship.

“My goal is to continue with the level of training and commitment the kids have had in the past,” said first-year coach Cece Lathe, who took over for Brian Rippet. “I’d love to keep the marks we got in the past, but it’s a totally different team than it was in the past. We have lots of new faces.”

For the girls, senior Jessica Woods will be available for some meets but not others. The Nevada state player of the year in volleyball, Woods will trump track meets with club volleyball commitments as she continues to work toward landing a college volleyball scholarship.

Woods is an important component since she won two individual state titles last year and was part of a state championship 4×100 relay team. An athlete with similar ability is freshman Hannah Daly, though she is a member of the United States Under-16 women’s national soccer team.

Her commitments for the national team will limit Daly’s involvement with the WHS track team, and Jordan Reeder, another all-state volleyball player, might also miss track meets for volleyball events.

“Hannah might show up for a few track meets,” said Lathe, a former member of the University of Nevada women’s track team who has about 40 boys and girls out for this year’s team. “When I see her on the track, I get excited. But I totally understand that track is not a priority over soccer, and the same goes for Jessica.

“But we’re still aiming for the state title. That is our goal this year.”

Picking up the slack during those meets when Woods and Daly aren’t around will be freshman Lauren Andrew and sophomore Sirrena Mesa. Andrew looks solid in the sprints and shot put, while Mesa took second in shot put at the Warriors’ first meet of the season last Saturday at Hawthorne.

Senior Kelly Karmann, who is the defending state champion in discus and high jump, is still recovering from shoulder surgery and might not participate for the Warriors this season.

On the boys’ side, junior Paul Waite is expected to challenge for regional and state crowns in the high jump. Jake O’Malley will do the same in high jump and long jump, and possibly in sprint events.

“Paul is showing some serious commitment at practice and is showing some strong leadership,” Lathe said. “And I am expecting big things from Jake O’Malley.”

The girls’ team placed second overall at the meet in Hawthorne, while the boys took fourth.