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Couple accused in killing and dismembering of man at L.A. hotel could face death penalty

December 13, 2010 |  1:24 pm

Mugs A couple charged in connection with the killing and dismembering of a man at a downtown Los Angeles hotel could face the death penalty.

The couple made their first court appearance on Monday. They were charged with murder with special circumstance allegations that could bring the death penalty. Prosecutors will make a decision on the death provision at a later point.

The arrests of Edward Garcia Jr., 36, and his wife, Melissa Hope Garcia, 25, were made Friday by the U.S. marshal's service and the Los Angeles Police Department at a location on La Brea Avenue near Hawthorn Avenue in Hollywood.

A maid at the Continental Hotel discovered Herbert Tracy White's severed limbs stuffed in a backpack on the morning of Nov. 29. The rest of the 49-year-old victim's body was found wrapped in a blanket under a bed in the hotel room.

The suspects, who are from Pennsylvania, had been renting the $40-a-night room.

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Slaying victim's kind nature may have cost him his life

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photos: Edward Garcia Jr., 36, and his wife, Melissa Hope Garcia, 25. Credit: Los Angeles Police Department

Click to visit The Times' interactive Homicide Report

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