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State Supreme Court declines review of Garcia case
   The California Supreme Court has denied a petition by convicted murderer Mario Flavio Garcia to have his trial reviewed.

    Garcia filed the petition in April following a Feb. 25 decision in which the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed his conviction of first-degree murder in the 2005 slaying and disappearance of Christie Wilson following a night of drinking and gambling at the Thunder Valley Casino in Placer County.

   The state Supreme Court denied the petition June 10 and also ordered that the opinion of the appeal court be a non-published one, meaning it cannot be cited as legal precedent.

06/16/2009 Auburn Journal


Mario Garcia’s murder conviction stands

Penne Usher, Journal Correspondent

   The California Court of Appeals Third District ruled Wednesday to uphold Mario Garcia’s conviction for first-degree murder.

   Garcia, of Auburn, is currently serving a 59-year-to-life sentence for the 2005 murder of 27-year-old Christie Wilson.

   “The court affirmed Mario Garcia’s conviction as first-degree murder,” said Deputy District Attorney Garen Horst, who successfully prosecuted Garcia in Placer County’s first no-body homicide.

02/26/2009 Auburn Journal


Mario Garcia Challenges Murder Conviction
   SACRAMENTO, CA - The man convicted of killing a woman after meeting her at a Lincoln casino in 2005 claims his refusal to cooperate with detectives tainted a Sacramento jury that found him guilty.

   As the parents of Christie Wilson listened, those arguments were made Tuesday at the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento. Garcia's attorney argued the trial judge never should have allowed some of the evidence, especially Garcia's lack of cooperation early in the investigation that prosecutors used to show a "consciousness of guilt."

02/17/09 News10


No Remains Found In New Search For Christie Wilson
  NEVADA CITY (CBS13) ¯ Authorities renewed the search for the body of missing woman Christie Wilson in Nevada County, but were unable to locate any remains.

   The Placer County Sheriff's Department conducted the search in the Scott's Flat Lake area near Nevada City, a place frequented by Mario Garcia, the man convicted of her murder.

   At about 4:00 p.m. Sunday, investigators finished the search. No evidence or remains were found, authorities said.

10/20/08 CBS13


Search Resumes for Body of Christie Wilson
NEVADA COUNTY, CA - More than three years after 27-year-old Christie Wilson went missing following an evening at Thunder Valley Casino, investigators were investigating a new lead on her whereabouts Sunday morning and afternoon.

   For the second time since Wilson's disappearance, search teams went to Scott's Flat Lake looking for her remains. But unlike their first attempt soon after Wilson went missing, the water level was much lower Sunday. Residents in the area say it is lower than at any point in the last decade.

   It was hoped that the change in circumstances would help search teams find what they were looking for. Around 9 a.m., five cadaver dogs began scouring the shoreline, trying to pick up a scent.

10/20/08 News10


Mario Garcia's Wife Arrested on Wire Fraud, Money Laundering Charges

Written by C. Johnson, Internet News Producer   
Written by Deborah Hoffman, Reporter   
Written by Alicia Malaby, Anchor-Reporter

   The wife of convicted murderer Mario Garcia was arrested Wednesday on charges of wire fraud and money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

   Jean Garcia, 50, made her first appearance in Sacramento federal court Wednesday afternoon.

   Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Stegman said Garcia is alleged to have made false statements for the purpose of obtaining refinancing for the home she and her husband shared in Auburn, then engaged in a monetary transaction with the allegedly illegally-obtained funds. Stegman added that Garcia obtained more than $700,000 by refinancing her home, money which Garcia admitted in a federal complaint that she needed to help pay for her husband's defense.
Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Stegman said Garcia is alleged to have made false statements for the purpose of obtaining refinancing for the home she and her husband shared in Auburn, then engaged in a
monetary transaction with the allegedly illegally-obtained funds. Stegman added that Garcia obtained more than $700,000 by refinancing her home, money which Garcia admitted in a federal complaint that she needed to help pay for her husband's defense.

12/12/07 News 10


Two years later, still no body
Family seeks closure after daughter murdered in 2005
By: Penne Usher

   In a case of murder that generated national attention, there has been no closure for the family of the victim, Christie Wilson.

   While the man convicted of murdering 27-year-old Christie Wilson, who disappeared from the Thunder Valley Casino two years ago today, sits in prison, the family of the victim finds little resolution without her remains.

   Wilson was last seen in the company of 55-year-old Mario Garcia of Auburn. He is now serving a 59-years-to-life sentence in prison for her murder.

   Wilson's mother Debbie Boyd said Thursday the past two years have been difficult.

10/04/07 Auburn Journal


Officials believe human remains not Wilson's

By: Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   Officials said it could take weeks to identify human remains found near a trail in the Auburn State Recreation area, but are confident the remains found are not Christie Wilson.

   Sgt. Brian Golmitz, of the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department, said skeletal remains were found in late January on a trail off Highway 49.

   "They are human, but we are unsure of the sex," Golmitz said.

   "He said authorities estimate that the remains, including a skull, have been in the area for at least a year.

04-19-07 Auburn Journal


Those close to Garcia case react to '48 Hours'

By: Penne Usher

   The murder of 27-year-old Christie Wilson captivated many of us, as did the trial and conviction of her killer, Mario Garcia.

   The recent airing of a "48 Hours Mystery" segment, which focused on the murder and an interview with her convicted killer, got me thinking: What did those close to the case think of the show?

   For those of you not completely up-to-date, Wilson was last seen Oct. 5, 2005 with Garcia. Without a body or a murder weapon, prosecutor Garen Horst, along with some 700-odd pieces of evidence, convinced a jury of Garcia's guilt. He's serving a 59-year-to life sentence for the murder.

   Now back to the show.

02-22-07 Auburn Journal


Christie Wilson case hits '48 hours'

By: Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer
Thursday, February 15, 2007 10:58 PM PST

   The murder of 27-year-old Christie Wilson captivated many in the Auburn area, as did the conviction of her killer, Mario Garcia. Now the final chapter of the case will be the focus of "48 Hours Mystery" and air on national TV Saturday.

   "The Biggest Gamble" is set to air locally at 10 p.m. on KOVR-TV channel 13.

   Correspondent Erin Moriarty, of "48 Hours," said in a phone interview with the Journal Wednesday that the segment will provide those interested in the case with a closer look into the evidence that put Garcia behind bars.

   "This hour will answer a lot of questions," Moriarty said. "You'll see a lot of the evidence and understand why he was convicted and hear from Mario."

02-14-07 Auburn Journal


New Tapes Of Mario Garcia Interview Released

Serene Branson Reporting

   (CBS13) SACRAMENTO Under the lights, seen for the first time, Mario Garcia interrogated by detectives after leaving Thunder Valley Casino with Christie Wilson.

   Before detectives enter the room, Garcia's caught on tape buttoning up his polo shirt, investigators now say they know that was to cover the scratches and bruises Christie left. At first, Garcia played dumb as if he didn't know who detective Bob McDonald was talking about.

   Garcia: Is she white?
McDonald: One of the women you were playing with the one you ended walking out with.
Garcia: Yeah
McDonald: Her name is Christie.

   Garcia only says they were both drunk and only remembers her borrowing money.

   McDonald: How would you describe her?
Garcia: If she was coming on to me ...(inaudible)...I was drunk…Even if the opportunity presented to go home with her I wouldn't go home at 4.

01-16-07 CBS13




Garcia Sentenced to 59 Years to Life for Wilson Murder

Written for the web by Ayesha Thomas, Multimedia Producer and C. Johnson, Internet News Producer

   Mario Garcia, the man convicted of murdering 27-year-old Christie Wilson has been sentenced to 59 years to life.

   Placer County Superior Court Judge Larry Gaddis handed down the sentence in Auburn after listening to victim-impact statements Thursday afternoon.

   Garcia will get credit for the 455 days he has served in jail since he was arrested.

01-11-07 KXTV


59 to life

By: Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   Convicted killer Mario F. Garcia was sentenced to a lengthy prison term in a packed Auburn courtroom Thursday after the victim's family expressed their anger, pain and loss.

   Garcia was convicted of first-degree murder for killing 27-year-old Christie Wilson and hiding her body. Judge Larry D. Gaddis ordered him to prison for 59 years Thursday.

   Stacie Wilson, the victim's younger sister, told the court in a prepared statement of the close relationship she had with her sister who she considered her "other half."

   "She was a part of me," Wilson said. "I've lost a part of my past, present and future."

   Other family members called Garcia a "lifelong predator" and they asked that he receive the maximum sentence and not have contact with his family until he reveals Wilson's whereabouts.

01-12-07 Auburn Journal



Killer kept watch of his rape victim

By: Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   Convicted killer Mario Garcia, of Auburn, kept a "souvenir" from one of his past victims.

   Garcia, who has been convicted of murdering Christie Wilson, 27, in 2005 was sentenced Friday to 59 years in prison for first-degree murder.

   Officials report that at the time of his arrest, initially on a weapons charge, Oct. 14, 2005, he was in possession of an antique woman's watch.

   "It was in his pocket and he tried to give the watch to a family member," said Detective Don Murchison, of the Placer County Sheriff's Office, who investigated the Garcia case.

01-11-07 Auburn Journal



Garcia, denying guilt, gets 59 years to life in Wilson killing

By Art Campos - Bee Staff Writer

   Maintaining his innocence before a judge, Mario Flavio Garcia of Auburn was sentenced Thursday to 59 years to life in state prison for the first-degree murder of Christie Wilson.

   "I did not kill Christie Wilson," Garcia told Placer Superior Court Judge Larry D. Gaddis. "You have the wrong person here before you. I will say it until the day I die."

   As Garcia, 54, made a statement to the court, Wilson's stepfather, Patrick Boyd, a sergeant with the San Jose Police Department, stood up in the courtroom and turned his back.

   Later, Boyd said Garcia was not remorseful and that he has continued to lie about not killing Wilson. "I turned my back on him, like the rest of society should turn their backs on him," Boyd said.

01-12-07 Sacramento Bee


SENTENCING OF MARIO GARCIA

   Now that Mario Garcia has been found guilty, the next step is his sentencing. Judge Gaddis will impose Garcia's sentencing on January 11th.

   The Family & Friends of Christie Wilson ask for your support in writing to Judge Gaddis to encourage him to impose the Maximum Sentence allowable on Mario Garcia, who continues to show NO remorse, No accountability and REFUSES to disclose Christie's whereabouts. Garcia continues to also lie about his involvement in the assault of Wendy Ward and is telling media that he never used the gun...that it was made up. This has been Garcia's M.O. for the past 25 years. He is the most violent of criminals and is a pathological liar -- it's always everyone elses fault.

   This man must be sentenced to the MAXIMUM SECURED PRISON FOR LIFE "WITHOUT" PAROLE. THE HIDING OF CHRISTIE'S BODY SHOULD BE GROUNDS FOR "NO PAROLE".

   Please join us in writing to: Honorable Judge Larry Gaddis of the Placer County Superior Court in Auburn, CA.
If you would like you can also send these letters to:
Honorable Judge Gaddis
c/o the Placer Co. District Attorney
11562 B Ave. Auburn, CA 95603
Attn: Deputy DA Garen Horst

This is a very important part of the sentencing process and the court needs to know how the community feels about this horrific murderer.

   Please submit your letters to Judge Gaddis by 12/22. Thank You.


Garcia trial's end was met with much emotion

By: Penne Usher

   For more than a year I have followed and written about the murder of Christie Wilson. Her case has consumed my life.

   I was at Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln as volunteers launched the first search for Christie. It was then that I met Debbie Boyd. Back then she was a mother frantic to find her missing daughter - she still is.

   One day after her daughter's killer Mario Garcia was found guilty of murder in the first-degree, Debbie called me. She was feeling relieved that they had surpassed the biggest hurdle - Garcia will be going to prison for at least 25 years.

   After the verdict was read in a Sacramento courtroom Tuesday afternoon, Debbie's elation quickly turned to anger.

   "He needs to be behind bars," she said. "I'll be at every parole hearing. He won't see daylight."

11-27-06 Auburn Journal


Deaths of 2 women are linked to Garcia
By: Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   Convicted murderer Mario Garcia, who is facing 50-years-to-life in prison for killing 27-year-old Christie Wilson last year may have been responsible for two other deaths more than 25 years ago.

   On Dec. 24, 1979 Garcia and his then-girlfriend Lynette Smith and her mother Violet Davis had gone to dinner in San Francisco and were headed home when the car they were in ended up in the Oakland Estuary, where the ocean meets a river.

   Smith and Davis drowned. Garcia survived.

   John Cave, now retired from the Oakland Police Department, investigated the women's deaths. He said in a telephone interview that he believes Garcia was driving that fatal night.

11-30-06 Auburn Journal


Boyd's on Court TV's Catherine Crier Show - Wed 11/29
Debbie & Pat will be on Court TV's Catherine Crier Show, tomorrow, 11/29. Check your local listing for specific time. http://www.courttv.com/onair/shows/crierlive/

Prior Felony Charge to Count in Garcia's Murder Sentence
Written for the web by Deborah Hoffman, Reporter

   A Placer County judge ruled Tuesday that convicted murderer Mario Garcia does have a previous felony charge that counts as a second strike, doubling his potential sentence for the murder of Christie Wilson.

   Garcia was convicted last week of first degree murder in the presumed death of Wilson, whose body has never been found. With a second strike, Garcia faces a sentence of 50 years to life instead of the 25 years to life he would face otherwise.

   Court documents show that under a 1981 plea deal in Alameda County, Garcia was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon. The original charges of kidnapping and rape were dropped. The charge was later reduced to a misdemeanor after Garcia successfully completed his probation, another part of the 1981 plea agreement.

11-28-06 KXTV


Judge Rules On 1981 Case Involving Mario Garcia
Case Considered A Strike Under California Law

   AUBURN, Calif. -- A week after he was found guilty of murdering Christie Wilson, Mario Garcia returned to court on Tuesday for a hearing on another crime he committed many years ago -- the result of which will have an impact on how long he'll be sentenced to prison.

   The question the judge considers was should a 1981 felony plea agreement for kidnapping and rape that was ultimately reduced to a misdemeanor be considered a strike under California law.

   If so, Garcia's prison sentence for murder would automatically be doubled.

   In court, Garcia's attorneys referred to the original plea agreement, and pointed out that when Garcia pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of assault with a deadly weapon, his sentence was initially suspended, which they argued means he was never technically convicted of a felony.

11-28-06 KCRA3


Garcia found guilty
By:Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   SACRAMENTO - The jurors in the murder case against Mario Garcia said Tuesday they had little difficulty coming to a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree.

   "During the case we were already feeling the defendant was indeed guilty of killing Christie Wilson," said Cliff Murley, jury foreman. "We just had to agree on what degree. Frankly, it was a pretty easy decision."

   As Judge Larry D. Gaddis read the verdict to a packed courtroom with 11 bailiffs standing by, Wilson's family cheered.

   "Yes, yes," cried Debbie Boyd.

   When asked how she was feeling, she replied, "I'm not sure ... we're just relieved."

11-21-06 Auburn Journal


Garcia Guilty of First Degree Murder
Written for the web by Deborah Hoffman, Reporter

   A Sacramento jury has found Mario Garcia guilty of first degree murder in the killing of Christie Wilson. He was also convicted of possession of a deadly weapon (a collapsible baton).

   Wilson's family yelled, "Yes!" when the verdict was read Tuesday afternoon in Sacramento County Superior Court. Wilson's mother, Debbie Boyd cried and hugged her husband.

   There was no visible reaction from Garcia's sons and wife who left the courtroom shortly after the verdict was read. Garcia also showed little emotion, although his attorney said his client was "stunned" by the verdict.

11-21-06 KXTV


Mario Garcia Found Guilty Of Murder
Christie Wilson Disappeared In October 2005

   SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A jury on Tuesday found Mario Garcia guilty of killing Christie Wilson.

   Garcia, 54, was found guilty of first-degree murder and possession of a deadly weapon.

   Outside the courtroom, Wilson's family celebrated the verdicts.

   "Absolutely justice has been served. It's about time. This man needs to be behind bars. He's worse than the most vicious pit bull on this planet. He's a cold-blooded murderer," Wilson's mother, Debbie Boyd, said. "Now if he's any kind of a man he'll tell us where he disposed of my daughter."

11-21-06 KCRA


No doubts for Garcia jurors
He's convicted of killing woman he met at casino.

By Hudson Sangree - Bee Staff Writers

   By the time they began deliberating, jurors in the murder trial of Mario Flavio Garcia said the disappearance of Christie Wilson was not a mystery to them.

   Testimony by some 90 witnesses during the two-month trial convinced them that Wilson was murdered by Garcia after leaving the Thunder Valley Casino, near Lincoln, on Oct. 5, 2005.

   "The evidence in our minds was clear in terms of what happened to Christie Wilson," said juror Rich Smith, a teacher from Fair Oaks. "It was clear she was dead. It was clear Mario Garcia killed her."

   Jurors in Sacramento Superior Court got the case Thursday and deliberated less than 12 hours over the course of three days before reaching a verdict Tuesday morning.

11-22-06 Sacramento Bee


Jury Finds Mario Garcia Guilty Of Murder
    A Sacramento jury has found Mario Garcia guilty of first degree murder in the death of Christie Wilson.

11-21-06 CBS13


UPDATE - MESSAGE FROM THE FAMILY
click link titled "Message From the Family"..

SEARCHES - PUBLIC APOLOGY DEMANDED FROM RON PETERS
Posted Excerpt from Forum - I just saw the KXTV News10 update/video & have also seen the Auburn Journal. I am appalled that Garcia's defense attorney, Ron Peters had the audacity or "desperation" to state that, This case is junk," Peters said. "The searchers were about gathering evidence to convict Mario Garcia, not to find Christie Wilson." That basically there was a conspiracy set out for Mario Garcia.

NOT ONCE was a single day spent trying to 'pin Garcia'. It was because the strength and HOPE that Debbie Boyd had when she said, 'thank you.' and the look of determination of bringing Christie home on Pat's face when he spoke of finding her that made going out every day to look for her. To be able to let Debbie have a nights sleep knowing where her daughter was. THE ONLY PURPOSE OF THOSE SEARCHES WAS TO BRING CHRISTIE HOME !!!!

TO THE HUNDREDS OF INDIVIDUALS FROM ALL OVER THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA & THE LOCAL COMMUNITY THAT HAVE SO GENEROUSLY VOLUNTEERED YOUR PRECIOUS TIME TO RECOVER CHRISTIE, FEEL FREE TO CONTACT THE MEDIA WITH YOUR COMMENTS...Ron Peters false accusation is inexcusable and we all deserve a public apology !! This style of defense is unacceptable.

Jury Begins Deliberations In Mario Garcia Trial
Closing Arguments Begin In Christie Wilson Trial

   (CBS13) SACRAMENTO Closing arguments ended Friday morning as the jury in the Mario Garcia trial began their deliberation. Jurors have heard nearly two months of arguments and evidence, but never saw a murder weapon.

   Today the defense accused investigators of planting Wilson's hair in Garcia's car. Fifty-four-year-old Garcia of Auburn is accused of killing Christie Wilson last October.

   The jury, which consists of ten men and two women, will continue deliberating tomorrow.

11-16-06 CBS13


Jurors to decide Garcia's future
By:Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   SACRAMENTO - Before jurors in the murder case against Mario Garcia left the courtroom Thursday to begin deliberation, they heard the defense call the prosecution's case "junk" and the prosecution call the defendant a "liar."

   It would be the final words the 10 men and two women of the jury would hear from prosecutor Garen Horst, who also said, "this case is about justice."

   Horst urged the jury to find Garcia, 54, of Auburn, guilty of the murder of 27-year-old Christie Wilson.

   "The people respectfully ask you to return a verdict of guilty - guilty of murder in the first degree," Horst said.

   In closing arguments defense attorney Ron Peters took issue with Horst's case, which he called a "show." He said he had problems with the investigation and said there was a lack of sufficient evidence to convict his client.

11-17-06 Auburn Journal


Closing arguments in trial of Garcia
Prosecution insists he killed missing woman; defense calls case flawed.
By Hudson Sangree - Bee Staff Writer

   Lawyers in the murder trial of Mario Flavio Garcia gave closing arguments Wednesday, with a prosecutor insisting Garcia killed Christie Wilson and the defense attacking Wilson, her family and law enforcement.

   Prosecutor Garen Horst said Wilson was last seen on Oct. 5, 2005, leaving Thunder Valley Casino with Garcia and then was never heard from again. Her body was never found.

   "This man should not get off because he's simply successful at hiding her body," Horst told jurors in a Sacramento Superior courtroom.

   Charged with murder and facing life in prison without parole, Garcia took the stand in his own defense last week.

   He denied killing the 27- year-old Wilson and said she was never in his car.

11-16-06 Sacramento Bee


Jury Begins Deliberating Fate of Mario Garcia
Written for the web by Mark Hedlund, Reporter   
Written for the web by Elizabeth Bishop, Senior Internet News Producer

   A judge told jurors he wished them patience and wisdom as he sent them out to begin deliberations in the murder case against Mario Garcia, accused in the presumed death of Christie Wilson.

   Defense attorney Ron Peters wrapped up his closing argument this morning by telling the jury, "This case is totally incomplete. It is a rush to judgement. He (Mario Garcia) didn't do it.".

   In his rebuttal, prosecutor Garen Horst said, "This case is about justice and justice requires accountability."

   Christie Wilson was last seen on surveillance video leaving the Thunder Valley Casino with garcia last October. Her body has never been found. The Placer County case was moved to Sacramento on a change of venue.

11-16-06 KXTV


Garcia jury hears closing arguments
By:Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   SACRAMENTO - In closing arguments Wednesday the lead prosecutor told jurors that the evidence proves that Mario Garcia killed Christie Wilson, while the defense attorney claimed the evidence was "tainted."

   Following jury instructions by Judge Larry D. Gaddis, the 10 men and two women of the jury along with four alternates heard a lengthy oration from prosecutor Garen Horst in which he outlined the people's case and focused on the contradictions between the defendant's testimony and the testimony of more than 80 witnesses.

   "He killed her. This man (points to Garcia) should not get off," Horst said. "I respectfully ask you to hold him accountable and find him guilty of first degree murder."

11-15-06 Auburn Journal


Garcia's Attorney: Prosecutor's Case Was Rush to Judgment
Written for the web by Deborah Hoffman, Reporter   
Written for the web by Elizabeth Bishop, Senior Internet News Producer

   The jury in the Mario Garcia murder case is hearing closing arguments from defense attorney, Ron Peters, this afternoon. He began by saying the prosecution's case has been a show.

   "It was a huge production. It was a show," Peters said. "This is not a show. This is reality this is a murder trial this is where decisions are made not like somebody attending a movie."

   Peters repeated his contention that there was not enough evidence to convict Garcia and that investigators failed to pursue other leads. "My biggest worry in this case, and I'll be honest with you, is not the evidence. There's not the enough evidence. It was a rush to judgment from the beginning," Peters said.

11-15-06 KXTV


Closing Arguments Begin In Christie Wilson Trial
Bridget Cannata Reporting

   (CBS13) SACRAMENTO Closing arguments got underway today in the Christie Wilson murder trial. The prosecution wrapped up this afternoon, then the defense began and will continue tomorrow morning.

   The prosecution read emails of Christie Wilson's before the days leading up to her death. The emails reportedly noted that Wilson was happy, and looking forward to starting her new job. The prosecution then noted that those dreams were shattered by Mario Garcia.

   They accused Garcia's testimony of being full of contradictions, calling his appearance on the stand, "smooth, smart, and evasive."

11-15-06 CBS13



FORUM IS OPEN
In response to an overwhelming # of requests, the Forum has been reopened.  Thanks to all for your interest in this case and support of Christie. 

Blood stains stump Garcia
By:Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   SACRAMENTO - During the final day of testimony Monday in an eight-week trial before a capacity crowd, murder defendant Mario Garcia testified that he had no idea how Christie Wilson's DNA got into his car.

   Prosecutor Garen Horst questioned Garcia during the morning session and asked him if he had an explanation for how Wilson's DNA got on the door of his Toyota Camry.

   "I don't know," Garcia responded.

   Horst continued with rapid-fire questions about DNA evidence that could place Wilson inside Garcia's car.

   "Do you have an explanation why your blood mixed with her DNA was found (in the Camry)?" Horst asked.

   "I don't know," Garcia said.

11-14-06 Auburn Journal


Garcia Cross-Examined By Prosecutors
Placer County Man Accused Of Killing Christie Wilson

   SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A man accused of killing a Sacramento woman after a night of gambling at Thunder Valley Casino took the stand in his own defense for a second day on Monday.

   Mario Garcia is accused of killing Christie Wilson in October 2005.

   On the stand in Sacramento Monday morning, Garcia faced meticulous cross-examination from prosecutors for more than an hour.

   The lead prosecutor asked Garcia about his interaction with Wilson in the Thunder Valley parking lot, specifically where Wilson was headed, how far she got, and if they were hugging.

11-13-06 KCRA


FORUM - BACK UP AND RUNNING...
Due to an overwhelming number of requests, the Forum has been reactivated. Feel free to Log In and post your comments.

Testimony Ends in Garcia Trial
Written for the web by Elizabeth Bishop, Senior Internet News Producer

   Testimony ended this afternoon in the murder trial of Mario Garcia. Garcia is accused of killing 27-year-old Christie Wilson after a night of gambling.

   Among the last to testify was Garcia himself. When he was done, the defense rested its case. Jurors then listened to rebuttal witnesses. Closing arguments in the case are expected later this week.

Incriminating Note?
   While on the stand, Garcia admitted writing a letter to a fellow inmate, but he told the Sacramento County court today that he did not write a line that said, "Yes I had sex but she wanted to."

   The jury was shown the note that Garcia acknowledged writing to another inmate at the Placer County Jail where he was initially held. The note reads: "I know you and I started on the wrong foot and now you are leaving now that we are becoming friends. Right now it's getting real tough for me as the D.A. and the media are making accusations about my wife. They continue to say lies on TV and the newspaper. Yes, I had sex, but she [Wilson] wanted to."

11-13-06 KXTV


Mario Garcia Returns To The Stand In Murder Trial
Bridget Cannata Reporting

   (CBS13) SACRAMENTO Christie Wilson's accused killer Mario Garcia returned to the stand Monday. Prosecutors grilled him about what he did in the hours after he left Thunder Valley Casino.

11-13-06 CBS13


CHARACTERISTICS OF A PSYCHOPATH
As continues to be Exhibited in the Suspect:

1) Glibness/superficial charm.
2) Grandiose sense of self-worth.
3) Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
4) Pathological lying
5) Conning/manipulative
6) Lack of remorse or guilt
7) Shallow affect
8) Callous/lack of empathy
9) Parasitic lifestyle
10) Poor behavioral controls
11) Promiscuous sexual behavior
12) Early behavior problems
13) Lack of realistic, long-term plans
14) Impulsivity
15) Irresponsibility
16) Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
17) Juvenile delinquency
18) Revocation of conditional release
19) Criminal versatility (Hare, 1986)

(Narcissism also a characteristic)

"It must be remembered that even the most severely and obviously disabled psychopath presents a technical appearance of sanity, often with high intellectual capacities and not infrequently succeeds in business or professional activities for short periods, some for considerable periods .Although they occasionally appear on casual inspection as successful members of the community, as able lawyers, executive or physicians, they do not, it seems, succeed in the sense of finding satisfaction of fulfillment in their own accomplishments. Nor do they, when the full story is known, appear to find this in an ordinary activity."
--H.Cleckley, "The Mask of Sanity"


Mario Garcia:"I Had Absolutely Nothing to Do with It"
Written for the web by Deborah Hoffman, Reporter
Written for the web by C. Johnson, Internet News Producer

   The man charged with the murder of Christie Wilson calmly denied on the stand this afternoon that he had anything to do with her disappearance and presumed death.

   Mario Garcia is accused of murdering Wilson after a night of gambling at Thunder Valley Casino on October 5, 2005.

   The defendant took the stand in his defense Thursday afternoon. His attorney, Ron Peters got right to the point.

   Peters asked, "Do you realize you have a constitutional right not to testify?" Garcia answered, "Yes."

   Peters then asked, "Did you kill anyone by the name of Christie Wilson?" Garcia testified, "Absolutely not."

   Peters: "Did you murder her?" Garcia: "No."

11-9-06 KXTV


Witness claims he saw Wilson in Folsom
By Penne Usher

   SACRAMENTO - A witness in the murder trial of Mario Garcia testified Thursday morning that he saw suspected victim Christie Wilson the day of her disappearance.

   William Pence, of El Dorado Hills, was called by the defense. He testified that he saw a woman in Folsom near Iron Point Road and East Bidwell on the afternoon of Oct. 5, 2005, many hours after Wilson was captured on video-surveillance cameras while walking out of Thunder Valley Casino with Garcia.

   "In the Iron Point Road area I saw a young lady walking in an area uncommon to see pedestrians," Pence testified.

   He said the woman approached him at an intersection, although he couldn't recall exactly which one, and asked him if the Thunder Valley Casino was close.

   "(She said) she had too much to drink last night and was trying to get back to (her) car," Pence testified. "I told her she couldn't walk from here."

11-10-06 Auburn Journal


Garcia accuser rests case
Defense questions DNA evidence linked to Christie Wilson.

By Hudson Sangree - Bee Staff Writer

   Prosecutors in the trial of Mario Flavio Garcia in the killing of Christie Wilson rested their case Tuesday, after defense attorneys cross-examined DNA experts and prepared to call their own witnesses, possibly including Garcia.

   Garcia, 54, and Wilson, 27, were videotaped leaving the Thunder Valley Casino near Lincoln together on Oct. 5, 2005. Wilson has not been seen since.

   During the trial in Sacramento Superior Court, prosecutors have sought to show Wilson was in Garcia's car, a white 2004 Toyota Camry. Garcia told investigators he said goodbye to Wilson in the casino parking lot.

   Defense attorney and DNA specialist Robert Blasier, a former member of O.J. Simpson's defense team, started the day by cross-examining Shawn Kacer, a DNA expert with the state Department of Justice.

11-8-06 Sacramento Bee


UPDATE - Message From the Family
click "Message From the Family" homepage link for 11/06/06 update.

Jury told of Wilson DNA in Garcia car
Forensic expert describes the hair, blood evidence against the murder suspect, who says woman wasn't in his vehicle.

By Hudson Sangree - Bee Staff Writer

   A forensics expert testified Monday he found what was likely Christie Wilson's DNA inside Mario Flavio Garcia's car, including on an interior door panel and mixed with Garcia's blood in small stains on the back seat.

   Shawn Kacer, a senior criminalist with the California Department of Justice, also said two hairs found in and on Garcia's car -- one stuck in the door handle and another in the trunk -- were almost certainly Wilson's.

   Prosecutors offered the evidence as they prepared to conclude their case against Garcia, charged with Wilson's murder. The forensic evidence was intended to contradict Garcia's statement to investigators that Wilson was never in his car.

   Lead prosecutor Garen Horst told jurors earlier in the case that Wilson was in the car and the car was a "crime scene."

11-7-06 Sacramento Bee


Expert testifies DNA in Garcia's car matches Wilson's
By: Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   SACRAMENTO - A criminalist testified Monday that blood, hair and other samples located in murder defendant Mario Garcia's car belong to his suspected victim, 27-year-old Christie Wilson.

   Shawn Kacer, a criminalist with the California Department of Justice took the stand and testified that blood samples located in the back of Garcia's Toyota Camry belong to Wilson.

   "It matches," Kacer testified.

   Additionally, Wilson's DNA was located on the rear driver's side passenger's door handle inside the vehicle.

   Garcia, 54, of Auburn, may have been the last person to see Wilson alive. The two were seen leaving the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln around 1:13 a.m. Oct. 5, 2005. Wilson hasn't been seen or heard from since. Garcia was arrested Oct. 14 and later charged with her murder.

11-7-06 Auburn Lournal


DNA on Trial in Mario Garcia Murder Case
Written for the web by Deborah Hoffman, Reporter

   A former member of O.J. Simpson's so-called "dream team" tried to debunk DNA evidence in the Mario Garcia murder trial.

   Moments before the court session concluded for the day defense attorney Robert Blazier began his attack on the DNA evidence in the case.

   "Most of the items you tested came back with no DNA," said Blazier while he was cross examining Department of Justice DNA expert and prosecution witness Shawn Kacer. Kacer admitted only a few samples came back with DNA material.

   Blazier then went on to question Kacer's analyzing techniques. He asked Kacer if he was inflating the numbers when doing statistical analysis for the DNA samples.

11-06-06 KXTV


Hair found in Garcia's Toyota Camry consistent with Christie Wilson's
By Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   SACRAMENTO - Jurors heard testimony Thursday focusing on hair found in murder defendant Mario Garcia's Toyota Camry.

   Brandy Spas, a criminalist with the California Department of Justice's Chico lab, testified that hair from the car door of Garcia's Camry was recovered and analyzed and believed to belong to suspected murder victim Christie Wilson.

   The strand of hair was found during processing of Garcia's car earlier this year. The hair was located wrapped around the passenger door handle.

   When asked by prosecutor Garen Horst if force was used to remove the hair, Spas said she couldn't be sure.

   "I couldn't say if it was pulled or not," she testified.

11-3-06 Auburn Journal


Prosecution Close to Resting Case in Mario Garcia Trial
Written for the web by Ayesha Thomas, News Producer

   It appears as if the evidentiary phase of Mario Garcia's murder trial could be finished as early as next week.

   Judge Larry Gaddis on Thursday told the jury the prosecution has only two more witnesses to call before it rests its case. The defense will then take over and is expected to call Garcia to the stand.

   Garcia is accused of killing Christie Wilson after a night of gambling at Thunder Valley Casino on October 5, 2005.

   Garcia has said that even though the two were seen on surveillance video leaving the casino together, they parted ways in the parking lot. Wilson has not been seen since she left the casino.

11-2-06 KXTV


DNA lawyers duel over evidence
With body missing, bloodstains in car play a key role in Garcia murder trial.

By Hudson Sangree - Bee Staff Writer

   Dueling DNA lawyers and forensic evidence took center stage Wednesday in the trial of Mario Flavio Garcia, the Auburn man accused of killing Christie Wilson and hiding her body.

   Prosecutors launched into the final and perhaps most important phase of their case as they seek to show through bloodstains and body fluids that Wilson was in Garcia's car and the car was a crime scene.

   Garcia, 54, and Wilson, 27 when she disappeared Oct. 5, 2005, met during a night of gambling and drinking at the Thunder Valley Casino near Lincoln. They were seen on a security videotape leaving the casino together. Wilson has not been seen or heard from since, and her body was never found despite extensive searches.

   With no body, murder weapon or cause of death, prosecutors have been forced to rely on circumstantial evidence to make their case to jurors in Sacramento Superior Court.

11-2-06 Sacramento Bee


Criminalist takes stand in Garcia murder case
By:Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   SACRAMENTO - Bloodstains found in murder defendant Mario Garcia's car could have been caused by blunt force trauma to a victim, according to an expert witness.

   Ricci Cooksey, a senior criminalist with the Sacramento office of the California Department of Justice took the stand Wednesday during week six of the Garcia murder trial.

   Cooksey testified that he located about four stains on the rear seat of the defendant's white Toyota Camry.

   Whose blood it is has not been entered into evidence, however, prosecutor Garen Horst told jurors in his opening statements that blood and other stains in the car have been determined to belong to Christie Wilson, the woman Garcia is accused of murdering on or about Oct. 5, 2005.

11-1-06 Auburn Journal


Famed attorney joins Garcia defense
By:Penne Usher

   SACRAMENTO - High-profile attorney Robert Blasier, known for his association with the O.J. Simpson murder trial, has joined the defense counsel in the murder case against Mario Garcia.

   Blasier is considered an expert in DNA evidence including cross-examination of prosecution experts.

   Garcia was the last person seen with 27-year-old Wilson in the early morning hours of Oct. 5, 2005 leaving the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln. After extensive searches of Placer and surrounding counties, Wilson's body has never been discovered.

   Authorities believe that she was murdered. Garcia is now facing first-degree murder charges in Sacramento courtroom after a judge ruled that there was extensive pre-trial publicity in Placer County.

10-31-06 Auburn Journal


Week of 10/30 - Trial Schedule Cut Short AGAIN
Monday, 10/30: Judge Gaddis approved yet another request from the defense to delay trial - the defense was unprepared to proceed. Jury was dismissed this morning, after only "40" minutes of session & directed to return Wednesday, 11/01 @ 9am.

Unfortunately, no considerations are given to the victims family and the fact they traveled 2.5 hours to get to court and hotel expenses.

Once trial has concluded, the family will be rolling out the full scope of nonsense & unfairness that has occured from day one. The Criminal Justice System truly needs a facelift AND Defense Attorneys must be held more accountable ($$) for their lack of preparation - it is unjust for victims, jurors and jurors employers to be impacted, as a result of Defense Attorneys that don't proactively manage their cases. At the beginning of this trial, BOTH Dratman and Peters were aware of the potential high risk of Dratman's absence & did not proactively have a plan in place to ensure no impact to trial schedule.

The Prosecution team has had an enormous amount of their own team adversity, however in spite of their teams personal challenges they come to court ready to proceed. Defense Attorneys should be held to the same standard as their Prosecution counterparts.    


Detective: Wilson Had Symptoms Consistent With Date Rape Drug
Written for the web by Deborah Hoffman, Reporter

   The lead detective in the Mario Garcia Murder trial took the stand Wednesday afternoon and quickly sparks began to fly in the courtroom.

   Detective Don Murchison with the Placer County Sheriff’s Department testified that he is a former narcotics officer and has had specific training on rave and date rape drugs. He told jurors Wilson showed signs and symptoms consistent with date rape drugs. He said those symptoms were "mood wings, upset stomach, diarrhea, slurring, and a general sleepy appearance."

   The very mention of date rape drugs was met with strong objections by Garcia’s defense attorney. "There’s no evidence, your honor, that anyone took a date rape drug," challenged Ron Peters. But Murchison was allowed to continue.

   The very mention of date rape drugs was met with strong objections by Garcia’s defense attorney. "There’s no evidence, your honor, that anyone took a date rape drug," challenged Ron Peters. But Murchison was allowed to continue.

10-25-06 KXTV


Doctor Testifies Hair on Garcia’s Car Was
Written for the web by Deborah Hoffman, Reporter

   A dermatologist took the stand in the Mario Garcia murder case this morning and told jurors that a hair found on Garcia’s car had to have been "forcibly removed."

   Dr. Peter Lynch, a dermatologist with U.C. Davis Medical Center said the hair, which the prosecution contends has been linked by DNA evidence to Christie Wilson, was an anagen hair. Anagen hairs are actively growing hairs. Lynch testified that it was "unequivocal" that the hair "needs to be forcibly removed."

   Garcia is charged with murdering 27-year-old Wilson some time after the two left Thunder Valley Casino in the early morning hours of October 5, 2005. Despite intensive searches, Wilson’s body has never been found.

10-25-06 KXTV


Garcia's phone records scrutinized
By Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   SACRAMENTO - A Sacramento County intelligence analyst testified Tuesday that cell phone records prove roughly where Mario Garcia was just hours after Christie Wilson's disappearance and those record conflict with Garcia's account of his whereabouts.

   Gregory Garcia (who is not related to the murder defendant) testified that when a cell phone is used the signal "hits" the nearest cell tower, and usually the user is within two to three miles.

   By studying Mario Garcia's cell phone records Gregory Garcia put together a chart mapping the defendant's (or phone user's) movements beginning Oct. 4, 2005.

   Defense attorney Ron Peters said in the courtroom, while the jury was not in attendance that this line of questioning proposed by the prosecution would mislead the jury.

10-25-06 Auburn Journal


Doctor Testifies Garcia's Wounds Consistent with Struggle, Not Fall
Written for the web by Ayesha Thomas, News Producer
Written for the web by C. Johnson, Internet News Producer

   Scratches on murder defendant Mario Garcia's body were consistent with a struggle as opposed to falling from a tree, according to a medical expert with expertise in family violence injuries.

   Dr. Connie Mitchell testified Tuesday that she examined the medical records from Garcia's visit to a U.C. Davis medical clinic in Auburn in the days after the disappearance of 27-year-old Christie Wilson. Wilson was last seen on surveillance video leaving Thunder Valley Casino with Garcia early on the morning of October 5, 2005. Wilson has not been seen since.

   The jury saw photos of Garcia taken on October 14, the day he was arrested. Mitchell testified that scratches to Garcia's face, neck, chest, upper torso and forearms indicated Garcia had been in a fight or struggle. She said the injury pattern looked as if he was clawed.

10-24-06 KXTV


Lawyers tackle location of Wilson
By Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   SACRAMENTO - Witnesses testified Monday that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of locations in Placer County where a body could be dumped and never found during week five of the murder case against Mario Garcia.

   The 54-year-old Auburn man is standing trial for the murder of 27-year-old Christie Wilson.

   Lt. Rich Tornberry, who oversees the Placer County Sheriff Department's search-and-rescue team, took the stand Monday afternoon and testified that finding a body in Placer County's steep, rugged terrain with remote areas, rocky cliffs and hundreds of mine shafts is complicated at best.

   He said that hundreds of volunteers on foot and horseback along with air support and cadaver dogs searched hundreds of miles of Placer County looking for Wilson or anything that could lead them to her.

   Prosecutor Garen Horst asked Tornberry if searchers found anything related to Wilson.

   "No, we never did," he said.

10-23-06 Auburn Journal


Jury Views Photo of Bruised Garcia
Written for the web by Ayesha Thomas, News Producer

   An employee of Sutter Health, where murder suspect Mario Garcia worked, testified Thursday about a photo retrieved from Garcia’s digital camera that showed Garcia's face scratched and bruised in the days after his alleged victim Christie Wilson’s disappearance.

   Prosecutor Garen Horst asked Jonathan Taylor if there was anything in the photo that jumped out at him. Taylor testified he noticed several scratches on Garcia’s face. The prosecution then showed the jury what the photo looked like on the same computer Taylor used to retrieve it. That picture showed abrasions under Garcia’s left eye and a scratch on his right cheek.

   The prosecution contends Garcia got the scratches during a struggle with Wilson. Garcia said he got the scratches after falling out of a tree. However, a doctor told one of the lead detectives in the case that Garcia’s injuries were not consistent with a fall and looked more like someone had clawed his face.

10/19/06 KXTV


Door of Garcia's Car Put on Display for Jury
Written for the web by Ayesha Thomas, News Producer

  Lawyers in the murder trial of Mario Garcia once again focused on Garcia’s white Toyota Camry Tuesday. The front passenger door was submitted as evidence.

  Placer County sheriff's investigators found a hair lodged in the door's handle. DNA tests later determined that hair was that of Christie Wilson, who is missing and presumed dead.

  The 27-year-old Wilson was last seen leaving the Thunder Valley Casino with Garcia on October 5, 2005. Her body has never been found. Garcia is charged with her murder.

  On Tuesday afternoon the defense questioned an evidence technician with the Placer County Sheriff’s Department.

  Defense Attorney David Dratman asked Tammy Harris a series of questions about the process she went through to collect evidence from Garcia's car.

10/17/06 KXTV


Nurse questions Garcia's story about injuries
By Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   SACRAMENTO - There remains a discrepancy in how murder suspect Mario Garcia received multiple scratches to his face, arms and torso for which he sought medical treatment the day after Christie Wilson disappeared.

   During Monday morning testimony in a Sacramento courtroom, Sylvia Callow, a nurse with UC Davis Medical Center's Auburn clinic, testified that she met with Garcia Oct.6, 2005.

   "He said he fell out of a tree (Oct. 5, 2005)," she said. "He had multiple scratches on his face, which was swollen."

   When questioned by prosecutor Garen Horst about Garcia's demeanor she replied, "He was upset."

10/16/06 Auburn Journal


Suspect's web use examined
By: Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   SACRAMENTO - Jurors heard Thursday that murder defendant Mario Garcia visited multiple forensic toxicology Web sites and researched penal codes just days after he was last seen with missing Christie Wilson.

   Detective Scott Swanson, a forensic computer specialist with the Placer County Sheriff's Department, took the stand and testified that he searched Garcia's computer using specific key words officials felt were relevant to his possible involvement in the disappearance of Christie Wilson.

   Prosecutor Garen Horst asked Swanson if he checked the computer using the words, "murder, DNA, forensic and decomposition."

   Swanson testified that there were several "hits" on the computer including Web pages on rape drug screening, services for criminal defense, blood typing by absorption and forensic toxicology.

10/13/06 Auburn Journal


Garcia's Computer Shows Google Searches for Forensic Web Sites
Written for the web by Ayesha Thomas, News Producer

   Testimony in the murder trial of Mario Garcia revealed that forensic Web sites were visited on Garcia's laptop computer two days before he was arrested for the murder of Christie Wilson.

   Prosecutor Garen Horst questioned Detective Robert Swanson of the Placer County Sheriff's Department on Thursday. Swanson conducted a forensics analysis on Garcia's laptop computer. That analysis revealed several Web sites were visited on Garcia's computer on October 12, 2005.

   One Web site that came up in a Google search was centralvalleytoxicology.com. Swanson navigated the site as the records indicated on the 12th. That demonstration showed visits to several links that discussed criminal defense, blood type analysis, and another page described as "rave/rape drug screen."

10/12/06 KXTV


Garcia's boss takes stand, talks about suspect e-mail
By: Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   SACRAMENTO - It was revealed during testimony Wednesday that murder defendant Mario Garcia skipped work the days following Christie Wilson's disappearance and wrote an ominous e-mail to his supervisor.

   Garcia is on trial in Sacramento facing charges of first-degree murder in relation to Wilson's disappearance. She was last seen Oct. 5 at 1:13 a.m. leaving the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln with Garcia. She hasn't been seen or heard from since.

   The 54-year-old defendant worked as a senior technology project manager with Sutter Health. The week of Wilson's disappearance Garcia was working on a "major project" according to his supervisor Janet Wilde.

   She testified Wednesday that Garcia was expected to be in the office daily from Oct. 3 through Oct. 14, 2005 to oversee the project. Wilde said she received an e-mail Oct. 4 around 5:30 p.m. from Garcia in which he expressed his "frustration" with fellow employees.

   "I'm having some tequila. That said ... this day will live in infamy," the e-mail read, Wilde testified.

10/12/06 Auburn Journal


Boss Says Garcia Late to Work the Day Christie Wilson was Last Seen
Written for the web by Ayesha Thomas, News Producer
Written for the web by C. Johnson, Internet News Producer

   The man charged in the murder of missing woman Christie Wilson confided in his supervisor that he was having problems in the days following the woman’s disappearance from Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln.

   Mario Garcia was seen on surveillance tape leaving with Wilson on October 5, 2005.

   Garcia worked for Sutter Health as a project manager in its data center. His supervisor, Janet Wilde testified she received an e-mail from Garcia sometime after October 5th saying he was having some personal issues and "he was at the wrong place at the wrong time."

10/11/06 KXTV


Garcia suspected early, detective says
The lead investigator tells of first queries three days after Wilson vanished.

By Hudson Sangree - Bee Staff Writer

   The lead detective in the mystery of Christie Wilson's disappearance testified Tuesday that he had zeroed in on Mario Flavio Garcia as a murder suspect within days.

   Garcia, 54, and Wilson, 27, were caught on videotape leaving Thunder Valley Casino, near Lincoln, together at 1:13 a.m. Oct. 5, 2005. Wilson's family and friends told jurors they have not seen her since.

   The trial of Garcia, the Auburn family man accused of murdering Wilson and hiding her body, is in its third week in Sacramento Superior Court. It was moved from Placer County because of extensive pretrial publicity.

10/11/06 Sacramento Bee


A year later, couple longing to bury daughter presumed killed
Linda Goldston Mercury News

   On the fifth day of their daughter's disappearance, Debbie and Pat Boyd heard the unthinkable: Christie Wilson might be dead.

   The Gilroy couple were on a conference call with a Placer County detective when he received another call. The detective thought he had put the Boyds on hold, but they could hear him tell his wife: ``I won't be home. I'm working a homicide.''

   Debbie Boyd screamed and fell to the floor. It wasn't possible. She had just talked to her 27-year-old daughter five days before. Finally, after a long, sad ride, life had been looking up for Christie Wilson. How could she be dead?

   Wilson, a San Jose native and former cheerleader at Gunderson High School, disappeared one year ago today. Her body has never been found, but the man accused of killing her is on trial for murder in Sacramento.

10/05/06 Mercury News


Detectives Questioned Garcia's Account of Wilson Disappearance
Written for the web by Ayesha Thomas, Producer

   Jurors in the Mario Garcia trial heard more testimony Thursday about Christie Wilson's last moments at Thunder Valley Casino before she disappeared.

   The prosecution called Robert McDonald, a retired officer with the Placer County Sheriff's Department, who told the jury he went to interview Garcia at his home Sunday morning, October 9, four days after Wilson disappeared. McDonald identified Garcia through a casino players' card he used the night he was seen gambling with Wilson. Wilson was last seen leaving Thunder Valley Casino with Garcia on surveillance tape.

   In that initial interview, McDonald testified that Garcia told him that he and Wilson did gamble together and left the casino at the same time.

10/07/06 KXTV


Wilson's Mother Testifies About Daughter's State of Mind
Written for the web by C. Johnson, Internet News Producer

   The mother of missing woman Christie Wilson faced questioning Wednesday from the defense attorney representing her daughter's alleged murderer. As attorney Ron Peters worked to ascertain Wilson's frame of mind before her disappearance, the exchange between the attorney and mother grew heated at times.

   Peters asked Debra Boyd if she told police "that at or about October 4, 2005 Christie was very upbeat." Boyd answered, "Yes." Then Peters wanted to know if when initially questioned, she told investigators, "Christie Wilson was the most depressed I've ever seen her?" Boyd clarified, "I said over the past year she was the most depressed I've ever seen her."   

09/27/06 KXTV


Court Hears Christie Wilson's Voice in Taped Phone Call
Written for the web by Elizabeth Bishop,Senior Internet News Producer

   The jury in the murder trial of missing woman Christie Wilson heard her voice for the first time in a recording of one of her last phone conversations.

   The conversation of Wilson talking to a company about ordering some self-help tapes was offered into evidence during the testimony of Wilson's mother, Debra Boyd.

   Boyd, dressed in a plum suit and wearing dark glasses, started by identifying pictures of her daughter. She described Wilson as driven, organized and goal-oriented even as a child.

09/26/06 KXTV


Wilson's Mother Takes The Stand In Garcia Trial
Bridget Cannata Reporting - NOTE: CBS 13 errored in  below report...NOBODY stated Christie has happy about "her recent" graduation from Chico State - Christie actually graduated from Chico in the year 2000.

   (CBS 13) SACRAMENTO Debbie Boyd, mother of Christie Wilson, appeared composed a smiled when talking about her daughter in court. She said Christie was very goal orientated, and she was happy about her recent graduation from Chico State. Boyd also mentioned that she did not approve of her daughter's relationship with Burlando.

   In court Boyd did not look at Garcia except when shown a video clip of Wilson and Garcia leaving the Thunder Valley Casino. Garcia's defense attorney Ron Peters asked Boyd to identify the person with her daughter in the video. Boyd replied, "That gentleman right there," pointing at Garcia.

   Prosecutors say hair and blood stains found in Garcia's car will help prove that he killed Christie Wilson after they gambled together at the Thunder Valley Casino. Garcia's attorney said Wilson was a troubled woman who might be alive still.

09/26/06 CBS 13


Wilson's Boyfriend Testifies About "Electric Relationship"
Written for the web by Elizabeth Bishop, Senior Internet News Producer

   The boyfriend of missing woman, Christie Wilson, told a Sacramento courtroom this afternoon that he and Wilson had an "electric relationship."

   Daniel Burlando, 31, is the first witness in the trial of Mario Garcia, the 54-year-old Auburn man charged with Wilson's murder.

   Burlando said he and Wilson met while playing blackjack at Cache Creek Casino in September 2004. He said they had "great chemistry, great times together." However, he did admit that they fought and that sometimes their arguments turned violent. One altercation in March 2005 left Burlando with scratches and Wilson with a bruise on her arm.

09/25/06 News10


Trial begins for man linked to woman's disappearance
S.J. NATIVE LAST SEEN WITH SUSPECT AT CASINO
By Linda Goldston Mercury News

   The trial for the man accused of killing San Jose native Christie Wilson is scheduled to get under way in Sacramento today.

   Mario Flavio Garcia, 54, of Auburn will face a jury of 10 men and two women as Placer County prosecutors present their case.

   Wilson's body has never been found, but Garcia, a former Fremont resident, was charged in November with killing the 27-year-old woman after hairs found on a door handle and in the trunk of his Toyota Camry matched Wilson's DNA.

09/25/06 Mercury News


Trial Set to Begin for Accused Murderer Mario Garcia
Written for the web byDeborah Hoffman, Reporter

   Christie Wilson’s body has not been found, but that’s not stopping Placer County prosecutors from going forward Monday with a murder trial against 54-year-old Mario Garcia.

   Opening arguments in the case began at 9 a.m. in a Sacramento County Superior courtroom. The jury, which was chosen last week, is made up of 10 men and two women. Garcia’s defense attorney, Ron Peters, told jurors last week that his client will take the stand in his own defense.

   Garcia is accused of killing Wilson after the two left Thunder Valley Casino on October 5, 2005. Surveillance video captured the married father of two and Wilson, 27, gambling together at Thunder Valley and then leaving the casino together. Garcia has maintained his innocence and told police he and Wilson parted ways in the parking lot.

09/24/06 KXTV


Garcia murder trial to begin
Prosecutor's extra burden: Proving to jurors the Auburn man killed a young woman, though her body has not been found.

By Hudson Sangree - Bee Staff Writer

   Christie Wilson was last seen leaving Thunder Valley Casino near Lincoln in the early morning hours of Oct. 5, 2005.

   A security video recorded her final known movements -- her back silhouetted against the glare of the parking lot lights, a man walking beside her. The two figures move away from the camera toward a row of parked cars and then disappear into the darkness.

   Wilson, 27 at the time, has not been seen in the year since and is presumed dead. Months of searching by law enforcement officers, family members and teams of volunteers failed to turn up her body.

   The murder trial of the man allegedly seen in the video -- Mario Flavio Garcia, a 54-year-old Auburn resident with a good job, nice house, wife and children -- is scheduled to start Monday in Sacramento Superior Court. He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

09/24/06 Sacramento Bee


Murder defendant to testify
Hudson Sangree - Bee Staff Writer

   Mario Flavio Garcia, the Auburn man accused of murdering Christie Wilson and dumping her body where it has yet to be found, will take the stand in his own defense, his lawyer said Monday.

   "Mr. Garcia will testify in this case," defense lawyer Ron Peters told prospective jurors in Sacramento Superior Court. "He's going to waive his right (not to testify) and take the stand."

   Peters' remarks came during the first day of jury selection, or voir dire, when lawyers and judges question prospective jurors.

   Garcia's trial is slated to start Monday before Placer Superior Court Judge Larry D. Gaddis.

09/19/06 Sacramento Bee


Jury Selected for Mario Garcia's Murder Trial
Written for the web by Elizabeth Bishop

   A jury has been impaneled for the trial of murder defendant Mario Garcia. The Auburn man is charged with the murder of 27-year-old Christie Wilson whom he met during a night of gambling last October. The Auburn man is charged with the murder of 27-year-old Christie Wilson whom he met during a night of gambling last October.

   Ten men and two women will sit on the jury. Another five alternates will be selected Wednesday.

09/19/06 KXTV


Attorneys confirm Mario Garcia will take the stand in his own defense
Penne Usher

   Attorneys for accused murderer Mario Garcia said Monday that their client will take the stand in his own defense.

   Mario F. Garcia, 54, of Auburn has been charged with the murder of Christie Wilson, 27, of Sacramento. Wilson was last seen leaving the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln in Garcia's company in the early morning hours of Oct. 5. She hasn't been seen since.

   Jury selection in the case began Monday in a Sacramento Superior courtroom. Garcia's attorney Ron Peters told perspective juror that he expects his client to testify.

09/19/06 Auburn Journal


Mario Garcia to Testify During Murder Trial
Elizabeth Bishop, Senior Internet News Producer

   Murder defendant Mario Garcia will take the stand in his defense during his trial, his attorney, Ron Peters, told prospective jurors in Sacramento County Superior Court Monday.

   The announcement came as attorneys began selecting a jury for the trial.

   The judge and attorneys in the Mario Garcia case began questioning prospective jurors Monday morning. By day's end, 17 prospective jurors had been dismissed for hardship or for cause. The defense attorney and prosecutor dismissed another seven on pre-emptive challenges, in which a reason for the dismissal does not have to be stated. Each side has 20 pre-emptive challenges.

09/19/06 KXTV10


Murder defendant will take the stand during trial
Hudson Sangree - Bee Staff Writer

   A lawyer representing Mario Flavio Garcia, the man accused of killing Christie Wilson and suspected of dumping her body in the Sierra foothills last year, told prospective jurors Monday that his client will take the stand at his own trial.

   Defense lawyer Ron Peters said Garcia would waive his right not to incriminate himself and would testify.

   Garcia's trial is slated to start next Monday in Sacramento Superior Court. It was moved from Placer County after extensive pretrial publicity, because Sacramento County has a much larger jury pool.

09/18/06 Sacramento Bee


Jury selection to begin this week in Garcia murder trial
Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   Jury selection is set to begin Monday in Sacramento in the Christie Wilson murder case.

   Mario F. Garcia, 54, of Auburn has been charged with the 27-year-old Wilson's murder, even though her body has never been found.

   During the past week potential jurors have been pulled and received questionnaires.

   Prosecutor Garen Horst said Friday there is little about the case he is able to discuss.

09/18/06 Auburn Journal


When to Say Goodbye – Christie Wilson's Parents Speak
By Jessica Thy Nguyen Special to the Dispatch

   Gilroy - Eleven months have passed since Christie Wilson was first reported missing, and now all her parents want is closure.


   Wilson, then 27, was last seen on videotape at 1:15am, Oct. 5, 2005, walking out to the parking lot of Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln. She was seen walking with a man whom police later identified as Mario Flavio Garcia, 53, a resident of Auburn.


   "We just want our daughter's remains to be recovered and for the suspect to be convicted," said Wilson's mother Debbie Boyd.

09/12/06 Gilroy Dispatch 


Officials seek to identify human head
   Human remains found in a forested area of Nevada County had some in the Auburn area hoping the nearly 1-year-old case of missing Christie Wilson would be solved.

   "A skull with what looks like dark-colored hair was found around 3 p.m. Sunday by a couple out of the Bay Area hiking just off highway 20 about 1.3 miles east of Alpha Mega Road," Keith Royal, Nevada County sheriff said Tuesday.

09/06/06 Auburn Journal


Volunteers find no sign of missing woman
Art Campos -- Bee Staff Writer

   Volunteers organized by the parents of Christie Wilson, the 27-year-old Sacramento woman believed to have been murdered after leaving Thunder Valley Casino near Lincoln on Oct. 5, failed to find her body during weekend searches in Placer County. About 60 volunteers combed a creek near Lincoln Airport on Saturday and canvassed an old mining area in Dutch Flat near Alta on Sunday.

   Wilson's mother, Debbie Boyd of Gilroy, said the areas were chosen because of potential leads.

   "Given the hot weather conditions, we could not expend the number of hours we would have liked in the searches," she said. "So we don't feel like we are done."

   Wilson disappeared after leaving the casino at 1:13 a.m. with Mario Flavio Garcia, 53, of Auburn, who has been charged with killing her.

   Placer County sheriff's detectives said they found two hair follicles in or on Garcia's car and that match Wilson's DNA.

   Garcia told detectives he said goodbye to Wilson in the parking lot and that she didn't get into his car.

   His trial is scheduled for Sept. 11 in Sacramento County.

   07/26/06 Sacramento Bee


Murder suspect was put on suicide watch in April
   Mario Flavio Garcia, awaiting trial on a charge of murdering a woman whose body has not been found, was placed on suicide watch in the Placer County jail during a six-day period last month, a sheriff's official said.

   Undersheriff Steve D'Arcy said jail officers conducted a random search of Garcia's cell on April 13 and found 60 pills of medication.

   "The pills are issued to him as part of his daily medication for a heart condition," D'Arcy said. "We don't know why he wasn't taking them and why he decided to hoard them."

   05/24/06 Sacramento Bee


Garcia trial held for September
   A jury trial that had been scheduled to begin in less than three weeks for Mario Garcia, who is accused of murdering Christie Wilson, has been postponed.

   The 53-year-old Auburn man's attorneys David Dratman and Ron Peters agreed in an Auburn courtroom Tuesday to postpone the trial until September.

   Prosecutor Garen Horst said jury selection is expected the week of Sept. 11 in a Sacramento County courtroom.

   5/19/06 Auburn Journal


Suspect now faces civil suit
   Parents seek damages from man accused of killing their daughter.

   The parents of Christie Wilson, who has been missing for six months, have filed a "wrongful death" lawsuit against an Auburn man charged with murdering her.

   Patrick and Debra Boyd are asking unspecified damages in their civil suit against Mario Flavio Garcia, 53, who was seen on videotape walking out of the Thunder Valley Casino near Lincoln with Wilson at 1:13 a.m. Oct. 5. Wilson, 27, of Sacramento hasn't been seen since.

   4/25/2006 Sacramento Bee



Wilson's family slaps Garcia with suit
   During an event at the Capitol focusing on crime victims and their families, a local attorney chose the backdrop to announce a civil lawsuit on behalf of Christie Wilson's family.

   Nina Salarno-Ashford, who made the announcement, knows something about being a crime victim. Her sister was murdered in 1979.

   4/26/2006 Auburn Journal



Garcia's Attorneys Argue Against Warrantless Search of Car
   Defense attorneys for Mario Garcia, the man charged with the murder of Christie Wilson, are seeking to suppress bloodstain evidence taken from the backseat of his car.

   In Placer County Superior Court Wednesday afternoon, Garcia's attorneys argued the evidence was obtained without a warrant and should be inadmissable.

   According to prosecution testimony, Placer County Sheriff's Department investigators first obtained consent and served a warrant to search Garcia's white Toyota Camry on October 11, 2005. That was six days after the 27-year-old Wilson was last seen on surveillance video at the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln. She was observed in the parking lot of the casino with the 53-year-old Garcia, with whom she had spent several hours gambling. Despite extensive searches, Wilson has not been seen since. Garcia has been charged with her murder and awaits trial in June.

   04/12/06 News 10


Trial Delayed for Garcia
   The trial has been delayed for an Auburn man accused of murdering a woman after an evening of gambling. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys for Mario Garcia agreed they need more time to prepare for the trial.

   The trial, which was set to begin on April 24, will now start a month-and-a-half later with jury selection now scheduled to start on June 12 in Sacramento.

   03/27/06 News 10


Request to Suppress Evidence Denied in Garcia Case
   Placer County Superior Court Judge Larry Gaddis today denied a defense request to suppress evidence investigators gathered when they searched the car of murder suspect Mario Garcia.

   Garcia is charged in the murder of 27-year-old Christie Wilson, who disappeared last October after an evening at Thunder Valley Casino. Surveillance tapes from the Lincoln casino show Garcia and Wilson gambling together for much of the evening. The two were captured tape leaving the casino on October 5 at 1:15 a.m.

   Earlier this week Garcia's attorney argued that investigators searched his car without consent or a warrant on October 9. Investigators gathered hair during their search they say proves Wilson was in Garcia's car before she disappeared.
Placer County Superior Court Judge Larry Gaddis today denied a defense request to suppress evidence investigators gathered when they searched the car of murder suspect Mario Garcia.

3/23/06 News 10


Garcia defense seeks to throw out evidence
   Attorneys for Mario Garcia, accused of murdering Christie Wilson last year, were in an Auburn courtroom Tuesday hoping to suppress evidence, specifically stating that Garcia's car was "seized" illegally.

   Evidence found in the car may be critical to the prosecution's case because DNA evidence from two hairs found in and on the vehicle were tested and found to belong to Wilson. Wilson's body has not been found.

   Although Judge Larry Gaddis didn't render a decision Tuesday, he said he hopes to rule by late Thursday.

   3/22/06  Auburn Journal


Wilson mystery to hit prime time
   The disappearance of 27-year-old Christie Wilson, last seen at a Lincoln casino Oct. 5, will be the focus of "48 Hours Mystery" and air on national TV Saturday.

   The segment will also scrutinize the past of Mario F. Garcia, the man who stands accused of her murder.

   "The Highest Stakes" is set to air locally at 10 p.m. Saturday on KOVR TV channel 13. According to CBS news press representative March Erhard, the segment features several interviews with individuals from Garcia's past.

   3/01/06 Auburn Journal


Holding vigil for Christie Wilson
   A recently aired "48 Hours Mystery" TV episode brought national attention to the case of missing 27-year-old Christie Wilson. Now her family hopes to shine new light on her case and keep her memory alive with a candlelight vigil Saturday in Auburn.

   Wilson was last seen on videotape walking out of the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln in the early morning hours of Oct. 5 with Mario Garcia. The 53-year-old Auburn man has been charged with her murder and is scheduled to stand trial April 24 in a Sacramento courthouse.

   Garcia's attorneys have filed a motion to suppress evidence they say was illegally obtained. That motion will be reviewed within the next few weeks by the court.

   3/10/06 Auburn Journal


Memories at the five-month mark
   Christie Wilson is missing, but she is in no way forgotten.

   This was made apparent by more than 100 people who huddled on a cold but clear Saturday night outside of Auburn's Historic Courthouse for a candlelight vigil in the missing Sacramento woman's honor.

   "As time has gone on, Christie Wilson has become our daughter, our niece, our neighbor and our friend," Placer County Sheriff Ed Bonner told family, friends and supporters.

   03/12/06 Auburn Journal


Garcia murder trial opens
Prosecution say bloodstains prove Garcia killed Wilson, defense point to boyfriend

By: Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   SACRAMENTO - The prosecution contends that blood samples found in an Auburn man's car prove he killed 27-year-old Christie Wilson, but the defense focused its attention on Wilson's boyfriend as the possible culprit during opening statements Monday in the Mario F. Garcia murder trial.

   Garen Horst, deputy district attorney for Placer County, said in his opening statement to a jury of 10 men and two women that bloodstains were found on the back seat of Garcia's Toyota Camry. Through DNA analysis the stains tested positive and some are Wilson's. Several of the samples were mixed and were reportedly determined to contain both Garcia and Wilson's DNA, Horst said.

09/26/06 Auburn Journal


Witness Says Garcia, Wilson Talked Dirty and Kissed While Gambling
Written for the web by Deborah Hoffman, Reporter
Written for the web by Elizabeth Bishop, Web Producer

   A woman who spent time gambling at the same blackjack table as Mario Garcia and Christie Wilson today testified the two were talking dirty and kissing each other.

   Tinarat Nunupatham took the stand on Wednesday afternoon and, speaking through an interpreter, testified that she spent time gambling at the same table with Wilson and Garcia. She testified at one point that she moved from one seat at the blackjack table to another because "they (Garcia and Wilson) were talking really loud and annoying." Nunupatham testified that Garcia kissed Wilson two or three times, and she thought they were "acting like boyfriend and girlfriend." When asked by Deputy District Attorney Garen Horst why she thought they were boyfriend and girlfriend Nunupatham said, "They were petting each other, kissing each other. I gathered they were lovers."

10/04/06 KXTL


Detective Grilled about Possible Sighting of Christie Wilson
Written for the web by C. Johnson, Internet News Producer

   Under intense cross-examination from Mario Garcia's attorney, the Placer County detective assigned to Christie Wilson's disappearance testified about a possible sighting of the missing woman.

   Det. Robert McDonald told the court he went to Folsom following a call from an individual who thought he saw Wilson in the days after she was last observed on surveillance tape on October 5, 2005 at Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln. McDonald testified he interviewed the witness and showed him a booking photo of Wilson from a dispute with her boyfriend Danny Burlando. At that point, the witness concluded he had not seen Wilson, McDonald testified.

   Defense attorney Ron Peters charged the photo looked nothing like Wilson when she disappeared. He also asked McDonald why there wasn't a ground search for Wilson in Folsom. McDonald said there was an aerial search but a planned ground search was never conducted.

10/10/06 KXTV


Garcia says on tape he was 'pretty drunk'
By: Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer

   SACRAMENTO - Murder defendant Mario Garcia told a detective he was intoxicated the night Christie Wilson disappeared, according to a videotape played before full courtroom and 12 jurors Tuesday.

   The 10 men and two women watched a video/audio-taped interview between Garcia and Detective Bob McDonald in which the 54-year-old defendant repeatedly said he "was pretty drunk" the night of Oct. 5, 2005.

   Garcia has been charged with the murder of 27-year-old Wilson who was last seen leaving the Thunder Valley Casino at 1:13 a.m. Oct. 5 with the defendant. She has not been seen or heard from since.

10/10/06 Auburn Journal


Earlier stories:

March 2006

3/28/06 Garcia trial delayed, rescheduled for June

3/25/06 Defense experts need to tackle Garcia's injuries

3/24/06 Judge denies Defense motion

3/22/06 Defense seeks to throw out evidence

3/12/06 Memories at the five month mark

3/10/06 Holding Vigil for Christie Wilson

3/01/06 Wilson Mystery to hit Prime-Time

January 2006

1/18/06 Car search finds possible blood

1/13/06 Garcia murder trial moved

1/13/06 - Changes ahead for Wilson Case
 
 
December 2005

12/21/05 - Murder trial may change venue 

12/15/05 - Wilson search turns focus to lost, found clues

 
12/13/05 - Garcia to face murder trial

12/09/05 - Murder suspect speaks
 
12/07/05 - High-profile lawyer joins Garcia defense
 
12/04/05 - Murder suspect's explanations questioned in court
 
12/02/05 - Court pushes for security amid media storm
 
12/02/05 - Big focus on tiny clues
 
12/01/05 - Court takes fresh look at disappearance