Man found guilty of stealing crematory urn sentenced to 75-year prison term

Robert Garcia Jr. has extensive criminal record, considered a habitual criminal

By Paul Venema - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Updated Thursday @ 11 a.m.:

A jury Thursday found Robert Garcia Jr. guilty of burglary and a judge sentenced him to 75 years in prison.

Original story:

When Josephine Duckett's home was broken into on Sept. 7, 2017, she was devastated.

In addition to electronic equipment, cash and jewelry, the burglars got away with a box that contained the ashes of Duckett's late husband, Andre Spivey, who died in 2015 of cancer.

"I'm looking at my dresser and I said, 'Oh, my God, oh, my God, they took Andre,'" she testified Wednesday in the trial of Robert Garcia Jr., one of the accused burglars.

"I had him here in this box, (these are) his remains," Duckett said while sobbing and looking at a photo of the box. 

Garcia, 54, and Darlene Vasquez, 34, were arrested the following day and charged with burglarizing Duckett's home.

When he was arrested, Garcia took police to a home where he had hidden the box in the bed of a pickup truck.

In his statement to police, Garcia revealed some disturbing details about the ashes.

"He decided to try to taste it, and that's when Darlene told him that because there was a picture of a gentleman in there, that they were actually ashes that he was tasting. And he kept telling her, 'Don't tell me that, don't tell me that,'" testified Sgt. Roger Cavazos, of the San Antonio Police Department.

Vasquez pleaded guilty to her role in the burglary and is serving a six-year prison term.

If Garcia is found guilty, a pre-sentencing investigation will be conducted before he is sentenced by 399th District Judge Frank Castro.

Garcia has an extensive criminal record and is considered a habitual criminal.

He faces punishment ranging from 25 years to life in prison.

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