Reggie Garcia is taking Felix Garcia’s case to the only people who can help: Governor Scott and the Florida Cabinet
Florida Justice Association member and long-time FJA lobbyist, Reggie Garcia, is working overtime to correct an injustice over three decades old. Upon learning the story of Felix Garcia, a deaf man who was framed for murder and denied a fair trial due to his handicap, Reggie signed on pro bono to help reclaim his freedom.
In 1983, Felix Garcia sat, deaf, in a courtroom on trial for murder. He had a 7-hour alibi that placed him six miles away from the crime scene with his girlfriend, their 6-month old daughter, and his girlfriend’s mother. But the court never heard about it because Felix was unable to communicate those details to the court because he was not provided with a sign language interpreter. He had a fourth grade reading and comprehension level.
He experienced the entire trial as noise. He answered, "yes" to indicting questions, which he could not hear, because he thought his cooperation would speed up the trial, so he could go home sooner. When Felix saw his sister Tina take the stand, he assumed she was doing so to come to his defense. On that, too, he was wrong.
The only piece of evidence against Felix: a pawnshop ticket that his brother Frank asked Felix to sign. It was for a ring that Frank had stolen from the murder victim, Joseph Tramontana Jr. Knowing nothing about the ring's origins and willing to oblige, Felix's license was filed with the ring at the Tampa Gun and Pawn Shop. At the conclusion of the trial, Felix Garcia was given 99 years for armed robbery and a life sentence for murder.
In recent years, Felix’s brother and sister have tried to come clean and admit to framing their brother. In 1989 and again in 1996, Frank admitted under oath that Felix had nothing to do with the shooting or robbing of Tramontana Jr. In 1996, Tina did the same. But those attempts to absolve Felix were in vain.
Now, Reggie Garcia is taking Felix Garcia’s case to the only people who can help. Governor Scott and the Florida Cabinet can free Felix Garcia after 32 years of wrongful incarceration. Reggie and his team have ASKED the Governor and Florida Cabinet to hear the case in September, but that date has not been granted.
We applaud Reggie's efforts to bring justice to Felix.