Woman gets 40 years in prison for 2017 shooting death

Jury rejects sudden passion finding in murder trial of Maria Delores Garcia

By Paul Venema - Reporter, Eddie Latigo - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - A jury on Wednesday sentenced a 47-year-old woman to 40 years in prison for the shooting death of a 36-year-old man.

Maria Delores Garcia must serve half of her sentence before she's eligible for parole.

Before the jury rendered punishment, defense attorneys and prosecutors wrangled over whether Garcia shot Jonanthony Seguin in sudden passion the night of Nov. 3, 2017.

A heated argument in the 3200 block of Colima Street near a hangout for drug users quickly escalated into a rock-throwing fight and ended in fatal gunfire.

Defense attorney William "Will" Brooks argued that two hours after the street fight, Seguin continued to taunt and laugh at Garcia.

"I want you to weigh these things for sudden passion," Brooks asked the jury in closing arguments during the punishment phase of Garcia's trial. "Delores jumped up and shouted in Spanish, 'Are you laughing at me?' And at that point, she starts to run after him, discharging that firearm once."

Noting that the fatal shot was fired well after the initial fight, prosecutor Jason Garrahan called the shooting a murder and not sudden passion. 

"She's hunting down Jonanthony, looking for him," Garrahan argued. "This is premeditated, calculated and planned -- not sudden passion."

Garcia was found guilty Tuesday on a charge of murder.

She could have faced a maximum punishment of life in prison.

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