MARTINEZ (CBS SF) — A Tulare County couple has been given life sentences in the 2019 drive-by murder of Raul Garcia — a slaying linked to a road rage encounter.
Tearri Richard, 26, was sentenced Friday to life without the possibility of parole while Lakia Poles, 26, will spend at least 25 years to life in state prison. A Contra Costa County jury found the couple guilty at a November 2020 trial.READ MORE: KPIX Reporters Remember Slain Security Guard Kevin Nishita; 'Just the Kindest Man'
Garcia was found suffering from a gunshot wound on St. Christopher Court, a residential cul-de-sac, around 9:35 p.m. on Sept. 1. He was hospitalized but did not survive.
An investigation showed that Garcia got into an altercation with Poles after Lakia nearly hit his car at a Chevron service station in Pittsburg.
“Poles, enraged at the victim, called her husband Richard to come to the scene,” the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. “Richard proceeded to arrive at the scene, threatened to shoot and kill Garcia – he said he would ‘spray them all’ and ‘we’re going to get you.'”READ MORE: UPDATE: News Crew Security Guard Shot in Oakland Dies From Injuries; Photo of Suspect Vehicle Released
Garcia fled onto state Highway 4 and then on city streets in Antioch trying to elude Poles’ pursuit.
“As the victim tried to flee from Poles, Poles was on the phone with her husband to keep him updated on their location,” the District Attorney’s Office said. “Richard in turn located the victim’s car and shot three bullets at Garcia’s vehicle on Putnam Avenue. One bullet struck Garcia in the back.”
Investigators later identified Richard and Poles and tracked them to an address in Tulare, where the Tulare Police Department’s SWAT team took them into custody.MORE NEWS: Burlingame Shoppers Show Up for Small Business Saturday
“We would like to thank the jurors who made sure justice was done in these difficult times,” said Deputy District Attorney Aron DeFerrari, who prosecuted the case. “We would also like to commend the Antioch police department on an outstanding investigation, they went above and beyond in making sure Raul Garcia’s killers were brought to justice.”