California man shot, fianceé killed just after he was acquitted on murder charges

A California man recently acquitted on murder charges was shot alongside his fianceé just minutes after he was freed from jail.

Michael Garcia had been behind bars on $1,700,000 bail since June 2019 for the shooting death of Gregory Garza, according to The Fresno Bee. The 21-year-old had been eager to start over with his fianceé, Ernestine Thomas, and leave the city when the violence erupted around 10 p.m. on Tuesday, his lawyer, Eric Castellon said.

Garcia was struck four times in the gunfire and remained hospitalized on Thursday. His 21-year-old fianceé was fatally shot and found dead in the driver’s seat.

Castellon, who successfully argued the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted the wrong person in Garza’s slaying, said at least one car began to the pursue the couple as they drove away from the Fresno County Jail along Highway 180.

“They were planning on leaving so they could get away from all this madness” Castellon told the newspaper.

“It’s a gang hit, that’s for sure.”

The lawyer also pushed back against claims from law enforcement alleging Garcia returned fire in what they dubbed a highway gun battle. He also denied Garcia was affiliated with any gangs, emphasizing he did not have any tattoos to suggest otherwise.

“I don’t know how my client would even have a gun, because he just left jail,” Castellon said, noting he did not believe Thomas was armed at the time either.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the freeway shooting.

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