Records show girl was victim of abuse

-A A +A
By David Giuliani

Jasmine Garcia, the 6-year-old girl killed nearly two weeks ago, lived a short, troubled life, court documents show.

Over the last few years, her parents, Ruby Sanchez, 25, and Michael Garcia, 29, pleaded guilty to a number of crimes, two of which involved Jasmine as the victim.

Las Vegas police have yet to charge anyone in Jasmine’s death. Jasmine, who had recently completed her kindergarten year, was sleeping in her mother’s bed at 304 Union St., when a shot ripped through an outside wall facing the street.

More than six years ago, her father was charged with assault and battery against a household member. He was drinking when he pulled Sanchez’s hair and threw her to the ground, court documents state.

Garcia then allegedly took Jasmine, a baby at the time, and told Sanchez that she wouldn’t see her daughter again. Garcia later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 120 days in jail.

In October 2003, Garcia was charged with abandonment and abuse of a child, aggravated battery on a household member, aggravated assault and false imprisonment.

According to court documents, Garcia started to abuse Sanchez after he had been drinking. She picked up her 2-year-old daughter — who wasn’t named in a police report but given her age would have to be Jasmine — with the hope that Garcia wouldn’t attack her anymore. He then pushed the two onto a bed, knocking the child out of her hands.

Garcia allegedly threatened to kill Sanchez and the girl. He allegedly choked Sanchez to the point where she went unconscious. The last thing she reportedly remembered was her daughter pleading, “No, Daddy. No, Daddy.” When Sanchez woke up, her 2-year-old told her, “Don’t cry, Mommy.”

The pregnant Sanchez tried to leave with her daughter, but Garcia wouldn’t let them. She finally found a way out and walked to Grand Avenue, but Garcia spotted her and her daughter and told Sanchez he would hurt her. They returned home.

Garcia later apologized, saying he had a tough life. But he still prevented Sanchez from going to work.

“If you tell anyone, I will kill you and your family,” he allegedly told Sanchez.

She called police later that day. According to court records, Garcia said he had blacked out and didn’t remember much, although he recalled holding Sanchez by the throat at one time.

He was sentenced to three years of probation and was prohibited from being near Garcia’s house. At least a couple of times, he violated his probation; in one instance, a urinalysis showed he had used marijuana. Court documents indicate that he remained on probation.

Last July, the authorities charged Sanchez with four counts of child abuse, trafficking of crack cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and tampering with evidence.

In an agreement with the district attorney’s office, Sanchez pleaded guilty to the trafficking charge, with prosecutors dropping the other charges. She was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to enroll into parenting classes.

According to the facts of the case, during the evening of July 17, 2007, agents from the Region 4 Narcotics Task Force went to Sanchez’s house at 304 Union St. She ran from the kitchen into a bathroom. Police apprehended her and found a plastic baggy of crack cocaine in the bathtub and later discovered the substance also in her bedroom. They also seized items that led them to believe she was trafficking crack cocaine.

There were four children in the house — ranging from 2 to 17, with the oldest being her brother’s child. When children are around a crack cocaine operation, police usually charge suspects with child abuse.

This week, Police Chief Gary Gold said officers aren’t looking at any one suspect in Jasmine’s killing and that the department was following up on all leads. He has said he doesn’t want to comment on whether anyone else was in the bedroom at the time of the killing.

Jasmine’s grandmother, Shirley Sanchez Dimas, has said the girl’s mother, Ruby Sanchez, told her she heard gunfire but initially found nothing until later in the morning.

Also this week, Albuquerque-based Will Ferguson & Associates law firm contributed $8,000 to the Crime Stoppers reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer. That donation brought the total to $10,000.

Crime Stoppers can be reached at 425-8884.