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

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.


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

Comments () | Archives (7)

Could face the death penalty what is the problem, to kill and then dismember someone goes a step beyond a brain fart. This was cold calculated MURDER and you say could face the death penalty. WOW

Death penalty doesnt scare anyone in CA, because they will not be executed anyway. Just give them life, it's cheaper to support these two clowns anyway.. Don't make a joke of justice system by even mentioning death penalthy because they suffer too much if they are put to death. You think this guy that was cut up didn't suffer???

The problem with the death penalty is that assumes that the justice system is always right and always fair. Humans are often wrong and sometimes put in prison are innocent and sometimes people put on death are in fact innocent, which is unforgivable. These people may or may not be guilty, I have no idea and neither does any one else commenting on this post. It's pretty terrible and sad what happened to the man who was killed.

I do not know why the new media and the prosecutors announce that the death penalty might be seeked for this horrible crime. I guess it is to soothe the nerves of the uninformed masses.

Get real it is a waste to time and money. All it does is generate income for attorneys to file appeals for the next thirty years. When is the last time a convict in california has undergone the death penalty (like six or seven years ago). We do not even execute one a decade and yet we have hundreds on death row waiting--waiting--and waiting. Many for 20 to 30 years. Most convicts on death row die of old age, medical issues or commit sucide.

Either carry out the executions or do away with the sham of seeking the death penalty when everyone knows it will never be enforced.

Dear LA Times:

Until California re-enforces the death penalty, carries out these sentences to the end when irrifutable evidence and/or admission of the guilty parties are given, don't make a big deal in your articles about scum of the earth people like Ed and Hope Garcia facing the death penalty. It's doesn't mean anything if the people and the courts don't have the stomach to kill these people, give me a job application and I will gladly and without remorse do away with the likes of the Garcia's, Richard Ramirez, and Charles Manson, to name a few.

Seeking the "death penalty" is like spinning your wheels for 30 years. They will both be dead of old age before they ever see a needle.

Cute couple. They are young. Can't euthanize them and harvest their body parts so that some good can come of this?


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