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Tulare County Man Is Trump's State of the Union Guest



Photo of Jody Jones in front of an American Flaf
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Jody Jones of Farmersville will be a guest of President Donald Trump at his State of the Union speech Tuesday night.
Jody Jones lost his brother Rocky Jones on Dec. 17, 2018. Rocky Jones was shot dead in what Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux called a “reign of terror.”

Portrait of Rocky Jones

Rocky Jones, 51, was shot and killed on Dec. 17, 2018.

The White House noted that the suspect — Gustavo Garcia, 36, of Visalia — was an illegal immigrant, with a prior arrest for violent crimes and had twice been deported.

Crime Spree Leaves One Dead, Several Injured

Law enforcement accused Garcia of at least 10 crimes in less than a 24-hour period Dec. 16-17, 2018. They involved a number of shootings and robberies.
“Visalia Police Officers responded to a ‘shots fired’ call at the AM/PM gas station on Lovers Lane. When police arrived at the scene, they found one man dead,” a news release from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office described the scene. Jones, 51, was the only homicide victim, with several others injured.
Garcia died in a car crash while trying to evade law enforcement.
According to several media reports, Jones’ family criticized law enforcement’s handling of Garcia.
“They’re turning felonies into misdemeanors, misdemeanors into infractions and infractions into nothing,” Jody Jones told KMPH Fox 26. “And who pays for it? We do. The communities. … To me, it’s not about gun control to me. it’s about holding criminals accountable for their actions.”

ICE Hold on Garcia Not Honored; Sanctuary State Law Blamed

According to the Visalia Times-Delta, Garcia was arrested two days before the crime spree.

Mug shot of Gustavo Garcia

Gustavo Garcia died in a car accident after engaging in a 24-hour “reign of terror,” according to law enforcement officials.

“ICE officials alerted deputies that Garcia was a criminal with a violent past who had been deported once in 2004 and again in 2014,” the paper reported.
An ICE hold was not honored by Tulare County, “unbeknownst to ICE.”
Boudreaux said Garcia was released because of SB 54, also called the “Sanctuary State” law.
“Before SB 54, Gustavo Garcia would have been turned over to ICE officials. That’s how we’ve always done it, day in and day out,” Boudreaux told the paper. “After SB 54, we no longer have the power to do that. Under the new state law, we must have a ‘federally signed warrant’ in order to do that. We didn’t honor the detainer because state law doesn’t allow us to.”

Other Trump Guests

The White House said Jones will be one of at least 11 special guests attending Trump’s speech.
Others include an Afghanistan War veteran who became addicted to drugs but was able to bounce back; a decorated Border Patrol agent; and a 2-year old born prematurely who defied the medical odds.
You can learn more about the guests at this link.
The speech is scheduled for 6 p.m. PST.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email