A Corona man was sentenced this week to 35 years in life for killing a woman while holding her 2-year-old son in an argument over the 2016 presidential election, authorities said .
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge convicted John Kevin McVoy Jr. on Monday after a jury at the Long Beach courthouse in November found McVoy guilty of second degree murder and an allegation that he allegedly used a gun in the murder, said Ricardo Santiago, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The jury acquitted McVoy of two charges of attempted murder and one charge of child abuse, Santiago said.
The shooting took place on the evening of Jan. 10, 2017, when McVoy attended the home of Susan Garcia and her husband, Victor Garcia, in the 6300 block of Knight Avenue in Long Beach, prosecutors said.
McVoy and Victor Garcia were part of a group and were there to train, according to a report from the Long Beach press telegram.
McVoy’s defense attorney Ninaz Saffari told The Times his client acted as the group’s promoter, providing Victor Garcia with musical material. She said the two men’s business relationship had deteriorated and McVoy had come to the Long Beach home that evening to leave the group.
During a political discussion with two other friends inside the house, someone asked McVoy who he voted for in the 2016 presidential election.
When McVoy told Hillary Clinton, Victor Garcia told McVoy to leave his house. McVoy pulled out a gun and shot Victor Garcia, then Susan Garcia, who was holding their 2-year-old son in her lap, prosecutors said.
Victor survived, but Susan Garcia died of her injuries at home. The boy was unharmed.
Two other friends at the house picked up McVoy’s gun, immobilized him, and called the police.
During the sentencing hearing on Monday, Victor Garcia told the court he still had physical problems after spending months in a coma and undergoing two brain surgeries.
McVoy apologized to the family in court and said he didn’t intend to hurt anyone.
Saffari called the conviction “unfortunate” and “unfair” to his client. Throughout the trial, Saffari claimed that McVoy felt his life was in danger and that he had fired his handgun in self-defense.
Prior to filming night, Saffari said, Victor Garcia had repeatedly threatened McVoy, who had offered to take on another musical concert. In one instance, Garcia brandished a shotgun at McVoy, she said.
McVoy brought his handgun home with these threats in mind, but intended to only use it if he needed to defend himself, Saffari said. McVoy opened fire in a physical altercation following a heated verbal argument, said the defense attorney, who added that McVoy aimed the first shot at Victor Garcia but did not have the intends to shoot Susan Garcia.
âI really believe strongly in John’s innocence,â Saffari said. “Regarding his judgment, maybe, yeah, it was bad judgment, but the guy had threatened him with a shotgun, so he was scared.”
Saffari said if jurors had a self-defense option on the murder charge, as they did on the attempted murder and child abuse charges, McVoy would have been acquitted on all counts. accusation.
She plans to appeal the conviction.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.