Ten years after murdering Mesa resident Cynthia Garcia, one of several members of the Hells Angels initially charged in her death has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
Kevin J. Augustiniak entered his plea last week, nearly eight years after his 2003 indictment, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office tells New Times.
According to MCAO spokesman Jerry Cobb, terms of Augustiniak's plea deal call for no fewer than 22 years in prison, and no more than 25.
"The normal sentencing range for second-degree murder is capped at 22 years," Cobb says. "But according to ARS 13-710B, that term can be expanded to 25 years if the defendant has been convicted of a prior second-degree murder or, as in Augustiniak's case, a class 2 or class 3 felony involving a weapon."
Augustiniak and several other Hells Angels -- including biker/stockbroker Paul Eischeid (more on him below) -- were partying with Garcia in the gang's Mesa clubhouse when some of the bikers thought she was being disrespectful.
Augustiniak and other bikers beat Garcia inside the clubhouse, "stomping on her head repeatedly," according to court records first obtained by the Arizona Republic.
Augustiniak and other bikers then dragged Garcia's somewhat-conscious body to a car, threw her in the trunk, and drove into the desert.
The bikers then used a knife to slash at Garcia, "cutting her throat, stabbing her, and
attempting to cut her head off," according to court records.
One of Agustiniak's accomplices, Eischeid, also was indicted for Garcia's murder in 2003, but escaped custody when he was released from jail before he went to trial.
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In addition to being a member of the biker gang, Eischeid, 39, is a former Charles Schwab stockbroker with a "relatively clean criminal record." Because he didn't appear to be a flight risk, he was released on his own recognizance and placed on federal pretrial release with electronic monitoring in 2003.
But Eischeid skipped town and remained on the run for nearly eight years. He was on the U.S. Marshals' 15 Most Wanted Fugitives list until he was captured in Argentina in February.
Eischeid remains in Argentina awaiting extradition back to Arizona where he'll face a first-degree murder charge.
Augustiniak's sentencing is scheduled for November 17.