Defense claims self-defense in trial of 20-year-old man accused of killing his stepfather

Jarren Diego Garcia could face up to life in prison if found guilty

A murder trial for a 20-year-old San Antonio man accused of killing his stepfather last year began on Tuesday.

SAN ANTONIO – A murder trial for a 20-year-old San Antonio man accused of killing his stepfather last year began on Tuesday.

Jarren Diego Garcia is charged with the March 5, 2021, murder of 49-year-old Mark Ramos.

During opening statements, two different versions of what happened on the night of the murder was told to the jury.

According to the prosecution, Ramos and his wife, Bertha Garcia, were arguing when her sons overheard the argument and saw Ramos pouring a beer on her.

Jarren Diego Garcia started arguing with Ramos, and after Ramos threw a speaker at him prosecutor Oscar Peña said that is when the defendant grabbed his gun.

Eventually, Garcia would shoot Ramos even after his mother pleaded for him to put the gun down.

“His mom is actively trying to stop him from committing murder,” Peña said. “Mark tries to walk out of the house but Diego follows him. Diego follows him out of the house and continues to fire and shoots six times.”

Meanwhile, the defense said this was a classic case of self-defense. They said that Ramos had a history of abusing Bertha Garcia and on the night of the shooting he tried to hit the defendant with keys he put in-between his fingers.

“He had no problem being aggressive, wanting to hurt people, he would be out of control and that night he was out of control,” defense attorney Charles Banker said.

After opening statements, five 911 calls were played to the jury. Three of those calls were from nearby neighbors and two were from Bertha Garcia, who can be heard screaming and yelling that her husband had been shot.

Bertha Garcia as well as another one of her sons who was in the house at the time of the shooting are expected to take the stand during the trial.

If found guilty, Jarren Diego Garcia is facing up to life in prison.

Testimony continues on Wednesday.

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About the Author:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast South Texas Crime Stories.