The New Mexico Supreme Court has upheld the 60-year prison sentence of John Gamble in the 2008 killing of 15-year-old Joseph Garcia of Carlsbad, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported.
Gamble, who was 16 years old when he confessed to killing Garcia, was charged as a serious youthful offender and was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and bribery of a witness, and had pleaded guilty prior to his trial to one count of tampering with evidence, the Current-Argus said.
He was sentenced in 2009 to 60 years in prison.
Gamble’s attorneys appealed his convictions to the New Mexico Supreme Court, questioning whether there was sufficient evidence of premeditation to support a first-degree murder conviction and also claimed the trial court may have erred in denying motions to suppress Gamble’s confession and to grant a change of venue, the paper reported.
The Supreme Court disagreed, saying “a rational jury could find sufficient evidence to support the elements of first-degree murder,” according to the Current-Argus.
1:10pm 11/24/09 — Carlsbad Teenager Tried as an Adult Is Sentenced to 60 Years in Prison: The 17-year-old had been convicted of first-degree murder and other charges in the killing of a 15-year-old
A 17-year-old tried as an adult and convicted in September in the October 2008 killing of a 15-year-old was sentenced Monday to 60 years in state prison, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported.
John Gamble had been found guilty by a jury of first-degree murder, kidnapping, retaliating against a witness and tampering with evidence in connection with the death of Joseph Garcia, the newspaper said.
The Current-Argus reported that in sentencing Gamble on Monday, state District Judge Jane Shuler Gray said she felt Gamble showed no sign of remorse for severely beating Garcia, waiting to watch him die, then setting his body on fire.
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 11:48
A Carlsbad teenager has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the death another teen last fall, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported.
The newspaper reported Wednesday that the jury, which got the case Tuesday, convicted John Gamble, 17, of killing 15-year-old Joseph Garcia. The Current-Argus also said that jurors returned guilty verdicts in the case on kidnapping and retaliation against a witness charges.
Gamble’s attorney, Jon Fredlund, said the defense would likely appeal, according to the newspaper.
He told the Current-Argus that while he was disappointed with the verdict, he was not surprised.
“We always viewed this as Round One,” Fredlund said.
Tuesday, 15 September 2009 18:00
The jury began deliberations Tuesday in the state District Court murder trial of John Gamble, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported.
The newspaper said Gamble, 17, is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Joseph Garcia, 15. Gamble also is charged with retaliation against a witness and kidnapping, according to the Current-Argus.
In closing arguments earlier Tuesday, prosecution and defense attorneys focused on whether Gamble had planned the killing, the newspaper reported.
Prosecutor D’Ann Read told jurors that testimony and evidence showed Gamble planned the murder by calling Brittany Bowering to ask if he could borow her car, by bringing a gas can and concealed rifle, and by picking up Garcia and telling him he was taking him to a party, according to the Current-Argus.
But defense attorney Jon Fredlunk said that months of drug use, depression and run-ins with the law had built up inside Gamble, who unleashed it on Garcia after drinking and smoking marijuana the night of the killing, the newspaper reported.
The Current-Argus said if the jury concludes Gamble did not have previous intent, and acted in spontaneous rage, it could mean a reduction of the murder charge to second-degree as well as the possibility of being found not guilty of kidnapping.
Tuesday, 15 September 2009 06:30
The trial of John Gamble, 16, in the October 2008 beating death of 15-year-old Joseph Garcia, got under way Monday in a Carlsbad courtroom, with Gamble testifying that he had been high on alcohol and marijuana and that he only remembered the incident in “flashes,” the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported.
Jurors also saw a video recording of Gamble’s statement to police in which he admitted beating Garcia with a .22-caliber rifle until the gun broke, then setting his body on fire, according to another Current-Argus story.
Gamble told police on tape that he did not know whether Garcia was alive when he set the fire, according to the paper.
On the stand Monday, Gamble said he intended to take Garcia out to a remote location to get high and to talk, saying the two teens were on awkward terms because Garcia allegedly told police that Gamble had broken into the Phoenix Alternative Program building, the Current-Argus said.
But Gamble said the two were not hostile toward each other, the paper reported.
Gamble’s attorney on Monday moved for a mistrial and asked state District Judge Jane Shuler Gray to dismiss charges of first-degree murder and kidnapping be dropped because Gamble alleged didn’t plan to kill Garcia but had taken him to the remote location to talk, then killed him in a spontaneous rage, the Current-Argus said.
The judge denied the motions, the paper reported.