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Man convicted in killing of security guard at church construction site

A Long Beach man was convicted Friday of voluntary manslaughter in connection with the killing of a security guard while burglarizing a Cypress church construction site.

Sean Christopher Hodge, 29, of Long Beach, pleaded guilty to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 11 years in state prison for his role in the death of 51-year-old Michael Garry, who suffered from Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism.

Hodge testified last October against a co-defendant, David Joseph Zimmer, 22, of Long Beach. Zimmer was found guilty by a jury on Oct. 29 of  murder during the commission of a robbery and a burglary, second-degree robbery and second-degree commercial burglary. He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole on June 4.

In September 2007, Zimmer along with Hodge broke into a storage facility at a construction site for Cottonwood Church in Cypress, seeking to steal expensive welding equipment. Zimmer, a welder, had worked on the construction site but had been fired four months earlier.

But Garry spotted Zimmer and Hodge and attempted to speak with them. The victim was then hit on the head by Zimmer as Hodge engaged him in a conversation.

With Garry knocked out, the pair continued to load the stolen equipment into his truck. Orange County prosecutors say that when Garry began to regain consciousness, Zimmer repeatedly struck the victim before fleeing the scene.

Garry was discovered lying in the dirt at daybreak by construction workers arriving at the job site. He died shortly after being taken to a hospital.  Detectives tied Hodge and Zimmer to the crime because Zimmer’s fingerprints were found at the scene, according to prosecutors.

--Richard Winton

Comments () | Archives (3)

Please show photos of white on white crime too.

I knew David, form the ages of about 10 to 13, he lived on my block in north long beach. Anyways, even way back then we all knew the guy was trouble, picking fights for no reason, just being a general bully. needless to say the day that his family moved was one of celebration on our block. Now, 7-8 years later, I find out that he's doing life w/o parole for murder, and I'm not in the least surprised. He was a menace that should have been taken off the streets before he took this life. There should be more steps that people can take to do, something about this kind of abuse. This murder could have been prevented years in advance

Brutal. There was no need to murder this poor man.

Get off it Brian. This has nothing to do with skin color. As a white person myself, I never once envisoined the criminals as black. Your hatred serves nobody, yet it's passed on from generation to generation by people like yourself who choose not to grow.


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