The question seemed strange to the reporters present. None remembered such a query being made by a judge at this stage of a hearing.

It wasn't until later that it was learned why Judge Martin asked his question. It turned out that Garcia has been allegedly involved in still another murder, this one two months after the temple massacre.

In the subsequent murder, Garcia and a 16-year-old girlfriend had shot a 50-year-old woman, Alice Cameron, to death in a $20 robbery. Judge Martin knows about making deals in murder cases. For years he was a criminal defense attorney. One of his clients was John Harvey Adamson, the man who placed the bomb under Republic reporter Don Bolles' automobile. Adamson made a deal for his life by turning state's evidence in the case.

In fact, Judge Martin and the bomber remain close friends to this day.
Judge Martin, a dedicated jogger, is an ascetic who eats lunch in his office every day. He is also independently wealthy and lives in a palatial home. When appointed to the bench, he arranged a gala inaugural affair for himself at Phoenix Country Club. Chief Supreme Court Justice Frank X. Gordon swore him in.

The event was attended by members of the local bar. There was also a large delegation from the County Attorney's Office, a group with a notorious penchant for free hors d'oeuvres and cocktails.

@rule:
@body:The day after the hearing, I drove out to Agua Fria High School. I wanted to get a look at the school Garcia and Doody had attended.

It's an easy place to find. You take the highway that leads to California and hang a left to the south on Dysart Road. Agua Fria High, with its proliferation of playing fields and single-story classroom buildings, takes up an area as large as Phoenix College.

If you wanted to pick a school simply for a pretty campus, Agua Fria might be your choice. When I arrived, it was lunch hour. Students were bustling about the walkways. Many of the male students wore jackets with professional-sports-team logos like the 49ers and the Raiders. Most of the boys wore baseball caps with the brims turned to the rear. Many wore ponytails like Garcia's.

"I knew him," one student said. "But there's not much to say about him. He was in ROTC. But he wasn't on any of the teams. He was quiet. Everyone finds this to be pretty bizarre."
John Durbin, the superintendent, was in his office but on the telephone.
I sat down to wait for him and glanced through the school newspaper, the Desert Howl.

On the editorial page, there was an article comparing Agua Fria to Brophy Prep.
The article, written by Ashley Wells, points out that most people think of students who go to prep schools as "snotty, rich eggheads who have no fun."

On the other hand, the perception of students at Agua Fria is that of "normal, fun-loving, 'All-American' teenagers."

Ironically, the other article on the editorial page was from a student in the Netherlands who admitted shock at finding out that there are places in the United States that still have the death penalty.

The writer, Nathalie Verhaug, tells of a case in her town where a 16-year-old was sentenced to death after shooting a jewelry-store owner in a robbery.

"I would like to know how you feel about the death penalty," she asks, "when it is applied to teenagers."
Superintendent Durbin invited me into his office. He has been at Agua Fria three years, after spending 22 years in the Scottsdale system.

"I wish there was something I could tell you about these boys," he said, "but they never made trouble on campus. They never did anything to draw attention to themselves."
Durbin realizes what the admitted crimes of Doody and Garcia do to the school's image.

"It's not a place like that at all," Durbin said. He spoke of the advances being made on the modern campus. Within months one of the most sophisticated computer systems in the state will be installed.

"Why, this year the kids even won the state football championship," he said.
@rule:
@body:I drove back downtown to visit the county courthouse, so I could read the report in Garcia's file in which he admitted killing Alice Cameron.

Judge Martin had ordered this portion of the file sealed at assistant county attorney Scull's request.

It had since been opened.
Judge Martin was sitting at his desk with the door open. His robes were off. He was drinking from a can of juice. I made for the door, with the intention of asking him why he had sealed the information about the Cameron murder.

One of his assistants raced to cut me off. The woman then darted into Judge Martin's office and slammed the door behind her.

In a few minutes, she came back out.
"Judge Martin won't see you now," she said.
I noticed she didn't say that the judge "can't" see me. The operative word was "won't."

I told her I'd like to see the Garcia file.
"It's in the other room," she said. Then she led me to a side office.
"He wants to see the Garcia file," she told her fellow worker.
The woman shrugged her shoulders.
"It's not here," she said. "Judge Martin told me to take it downstairs to the record room right after we finished with it."
I thought nothing of it. I took the elevator down to the record room.
"The Garcia file's not here," a clerk told me. "It's probably still up in the judge's chambers."
I told the clerk how the file had been carried down to the record room by one of Judge Martin's staff.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Phoenix Concert Tickets
Loading...