• WEATHER ALERT Fire Weather Watch
  • COMMUNITY EVENT 2017 Civil War Revisited - Saturday & Sunday; Fresno Historical Society/Kearney Park

Fresno man convicted of murder, claims victim molested family member

EMBED </>More Videos

On Wednesday Israel Garcia faced family members of Lathan Ma-- a man he shot 11 times and killed in 2015. (KFSN)

Israel Garcia is a father, he is a brother, and a son-- but now he's also a convicted murderer. On Wednesday he faced family members of Lathan Ma-- a man he shot 11 times and killed in 2015.

"I want justice. I want this man to pay. I want him to wake up every day and suffer what we suffer," said Peggy Ma, Lathan's aunt.

For a murder case, Garcia's conviction was swift. He took a plea deal immediately and will serve 15 years to life. But a reason for the killing didn't surface until recently when one of Garcia's family members spoke up about an alleged sexual assault-- she revisited the incident in court.

"Lathan penetrated me with his hand. I woke up and he was over me."

That family member said Ma molested her three years ago when she was just 17. At the time Ma was dating another family member of Garcia.

"I didn't know how to act and I reacted foolishly and I should've known better," said Garcia.

Despite the apologies and the explanations, Ma's family stood in the courtroom demanding justice.

"I hope this eats away at you for the rest of your life because you've taken someone from us that was so dear to us. I mean cold blooded murder-- you didn't have to go that far you didn't have to do that," said Victor Ma, Lathan brother.

"I will think about what I did every day and do the best I can to make it right," said Garcia.

In 15 years Garcia is eligible for parole but could serve up to life in prison.

Related Topics:
(Copyright ©2017 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments