The sentencing of a habitual felon to time served and probation on Monday after she pleaded no contest to gun and drug charges raised the hackles of Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward.
Tulare County Superior Court Judge Antonio Reyes handed down the sentence for Sarah Garcia, 45. She was in jail for 213 days before making bail. At the time of her last arrest in October 2020, Garcia was on parole for a 2018 stabbing.
DA: ‘Unfathomable’ Sentence
“As the national debate over crimes involving weapons escalates, it is unfathomable how violent criminals like this defendant who flagrantly violate those same laws are allowed to remain on our streets. Instead of debating new laws, we need a court system willing to say, ‘enough is enough’ and impose sentences which will protect the safety of our communities,” said Tulare County DA Tim Ward in a news release.
“This defendant demonstrated a recent willingness to commit violent acts and a conscious disregard for her parole supervision. It is unbelievable that the best the court can muster is time served and probation. This sentence sends the wrong message to law enforcement, the public, and criminals. Our communities deserve better.”
Could Have Received Six Years
The DA’s office said that under California sentencing laws, Garcia could have been sentenced to more than six years in prison.
Garcia was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, receiving stolen property, petty theft, and drug possession in early 2019. For those crimes, she received a 40-month prison term but was released early.
In the 2020 arrest, officers discovered a loaded sawed-off shotgun between her feet, ammunition, and marijuana, the DA’s office said.
She has 10 felony convictions on her record.