MESA COUNTY, Colo. - The jury assigned to a case that has been waiting on justice for nearly three decades reached their verdict on Thursday, August 31.
Many waited in the courtroom with bated breath as the judge announced the jury's verdict for Rafael "Shorty" Aguilar Garcia - who they found guilty of first-degree murder.
The murder took place on July 4, 1989, when Garcia grew angry about his ex-wife's relationship with another man, Charles Porter. Garcia immediately fled to Mexico after the murder, and four prior district attorneys had been working with the Mexican authorities to try and get Garcia back to America. However, Mexico refused to extradite Garcia and instead tried him in Mexico and found him not guilty.
Ultimately, Garcia was caught by Denver police in October 2016, and the judge allowed prosecutors in Mesa County to proceed with a new trial.
Our district attorney said the wheels of justice can sometimes move slowly, but he expects the judge to sentence Garcia to life in prison. "If things are very hotly contested in our system, we have a lot of battles and struggles and fights with the defense in court over various issues. But ultimately, when all is said and done, we believe justice was served," said District Attorney Dan Rubinstein.
Garcia's sentencing is scheduled for Friday, September 8 at 11 A.M. If he is sentenced to life in prison, the judge would have to abide by 1989 stipulations - which require the possibility of parole after 40 calendar years.
Porter was a father to four children, and they will have the chance to either attend the sentencing or mail in a written statement.
Garcia's ex-wife said she is relieved to have justice finally served after 28 years.