Guevara pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter in March slaying

December 23, 2016
Santa Paula News

A Santa Paula man pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter Friday after a fatal stabbing in March, a plea expected to bring him a dozen years in prison.

Modesto Perez Guevara, 23, was arrested March 25 after a dispute led to the fatal stabbing of Ricardo Garcia, 44, an Oxnard resident.

According to Santa Paula Police Sgt. Cody Madison, the attack occurred in the 100 block of East Ventura Street, where Garcia was reportedly doing work at an apartment unit for his friend, Guevara’s brother.

Officers had been summoned to the East Ventura Street apartment complex at approximately 10:20 a.m. for a reported stabbing. 

When SPPD Officers arrived at the scene Santa Paula Fire and ambulance personnel were already there and a paramedic had pronounced Garcia dead.

Garcia, who had also been an acquaintance of Modesto Guevara, had been stabbed once in the stomach, a mortal wound.  

Said Madison, “Through the investigation it was determined the suspect in the case was Guevara,” whom police later located in a mobile home park in the 400 block of Craig Drive, less than a mile from the scene of the stabbing.

Guevara had initially pleaded not guilty to the homicide at a court hearing in November.

At the time of his March arrest the SPPD had requested that Guevara’s bail be doubled to $1 million due to their past contacts with him; just four days before the stabbing he had been arrested for felony resisting arrest. When a SPPD Officer had responded to the disturbance call, Guevara and his brother were both arrested when they scuffled with the officer, who received minor injuries.

Guevara was out of jail on bail when the murder occurred.

Madison said the SPPD is grateful for the assistance of the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office “for their assistance in the case…” 

Guevara will be sentenced January 20 where he could receive 12 years in prison.

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