Councilman's Murder Continues to Reverberate Through Community
FAIRFIELD, Calif. (KCBS) – Family members of slain Fairfield City Councilman Matt Garcia wanted his convicted killer, Henry Don Williams, to admit responsibility for the murder at his sentencing Monday morning, but Williams offered only his sorrow and condolences for their loss.
Just before he was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison for the Sept. 1, 2008, fatal shooting of the 22-year old councilman in Cordelia, Williams told the grieving family, “I can’t express how I feel about your pain and loss and I am deeply, deeply sorry.”
Five of Garcia’s family members and Fairfield Mayor Harry Price addressed the 34-year-old defendant.
“Our prayer is that you step up to the plate and take responsibility,” Garcia’s stepfather Ray Courtemanche said.
“Stop hiding behind the Bible and come out with the truth. Be a godly man and say I’m sorry. But I know you can’t admit to it,” Garcia’s father Matt Garcia said.
“You have an opportunity to be a better example for those who run afoul of the law,” Price said.
Williams remained stoic during the emotional comments. Only after Garcia’s mother, Teresa Courtemanche, told Williams that he also ruined his own young son’s life did he appear close to losing his composure.
He looked at the ground and wiped his mouth, then spoke briefly with his attorney, Deputy Public Defender John Mendenhall, who again claimed Monday morning during a failed bid for a new trial that Williams’ co-defendant Gene Combs actually shot Garcia.
Williams said Mendenhall advised him not to say much, but Williams said he insisted on speaking anyway.
“I am deeply sorry for your loss. My condolences and grief go out to your family,” he said.