By Ron Warnick
QCS Senior Writer 

Man jailed after being accused of violating conditions of release


March 31, 2021

A Tucumcari man implicated in a 2012 fire that destroyed the city’s only veterinarian clinic and killed dozen of animals was jailed last week after being accused of violating the conditions of his release from a separate felony case.

Kevin R. Garcia, 29, was issued a no-bond bench warrant March 23 by Magistrate Judge Timothy O’Quinn for the alleged parole violation after Garcia was charged and detained the previous day on one misdemeanor count of use of telephone to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offense. The charge is subject to up to 364 days in jail or a $1,000 fine.

A motion filed by District Attorney Timothy Rose, citing Garcia’s previous criminal charges, requested that O’Quinn issue the bench warrant to review the condition’s of Garcia’s release.

During his arraignment Wednesday, Garcia pleaded not guilty to the phone harassment charge. District Judge Albert Mitchell Jr., presiding over magistrate court cases that day, set terms of Garcia’s release on his own recognizance but noted he could not free him because of the bench warrant that alleges Garcia violated the terms of his probation.

The terms of Garcia’s possible future release include him staying in Quay County, avoiding contact with the victim and witnesses and being subject to random drug and alcohol testing.

According to an affidavit filed March 22 by Tucumcari police officer Herman Martinez, two women and a man nearly were hit by a pickup truck driven by Garcia, and he was told to watch how he was driving.

Garcia on March 19 texted one of the women, stating “tell your man he is lucky I’m on parole” and “I got like or month or two an I’ll beat his ass.”

While filling out a restraining order against Garcia, the woman showed police officers another threatening message from him.

Garcia last summer confessed to the 2012 fire at Tucumcari Animal Hospital that destroyed the facility and killed more than 70 animals there. New Mexico State Police had presented him with DNA evidence collected at the scene, leading to the confession. Garcia also admitted to his role in the fire during a phone call by a Quay County Sun reporter.

Garcia never was charged with any crime regarding the fire because the statute of limitations had expired more than two years previously.

Rose said after learning about Garcia’s role with the fire he’d "never had a case where I've been this aggravated that we were unable to seek justice" because of the rule of law and “it’s a shame that case is going to go unpunished.”

Garcia in September received a suspended sentence in Tucumcari district court after pleading guilty to a felony count of receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle, misdemeanor unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon and misdemeanor injuring or tampering with a motor vehicle in incidents in December and April. Two other charges — false imprisonment and assault — were dropped in exchange for the guilty pleas.

Garcia briefly alluded to the vet clinic fire during his sentencing, and Rose mentioned the blaze to the Mitchell during that hearing and that Garcia was being investigated for other crimes that were “very concerning.”

Garcia had been accused on Christmas Day of taking possession of a stolen Kawasaki ATV and concealing a .45-caliber handgun in his pants pocket. In April 2020, Garcia was accused of restraining a woman against her will and assaulting her. He also was accused of scratching or damaging a vehicle while removing its battery.

Mitchell gave Garcia a suspended total sentence of nearly three years in the Department of Corrections, plus supervised probation and $300 to $700 in fines and fees. Mitchell also ordered Garcia to wear a GPS ankle monitor and admit himself in an inpatient alcohol treatment program.


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