TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for a double murder he committed in 2013 on Thursday, according to Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.
Reyes Garcia, 47, and Adrian Castillon were identified by detectives in 2013 as suspects for the murder of Visalia residents Jerry Murillo, 58, and Marie Rogers, 59.
On the morning of July 12, 2013, a caretaker arrived at Murillo and Roger’s Visalia home and discovered their bodies among the “ransacked residence.”
Officials say Murillo and Roger’s were both beaten and stabbed with their throats slit.
The Visalia Police Department investigated the incident and using video surveillance from a neighbor’s house were able to confirm Garcia and Castillon’s presence at the crime scene.
On July 13, 2013, police were able to catch Garcia and Castillon on a Visalia city bus after witnesses claimed to have seen them board the bus with bags.
Investigators say they learned the two men spent the night in Hanford after committing the murders and disposed of the victim’s bloody clothes in a motel dumpster.
Detectives say after interviewing the defendants, they determined Garcia and Castillon knew the victims and had planned to steal money and other items of value from them too when committing the crime.
The DA says on Jan. 7, 2021, Garcia, “pleaded guilty to one count of special circumstance
first-degree murder (Rogers), and pleaded no contest to an additional count of special
circumstance first-degree murder (Murillo), two counts of conspiracy to commit a crime,
first-degree residential robbery, and first-degree burglary.”
According to authorities, Garcia’s charges have been enhanced with “special allegations” due to possession of prior strike and various other felony convictions such as burglary and cultivation of marijuana.
The DA also says Garcia was on felony probation when the crimes occurred and that he’s a convicted child molester and sex offender registrant.
Officials say Garcia’s partner, Castillon, admitted to taking part in the crimes and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in September 2015.
According to authorities, two other women also pleaded and said they assisted the men during and after the incident took place.
Both women were sentenced in 2015 and the DA says Betssy Huerta, 34, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for conspiracy and Olivia Solorzano, 30, was sentenced to over 10 years in prison for participating in the robbery.