A teenager in Nevada will spend over a decade behind bars for brutally beating a teacher nearly to death during a discussion over his grades in April 2022.
Jonathan Martinez Garcia, 17, was sentenced to at least 16 years, and at most 40 years, in prison by Clark County District Court Judge Kathleen Delaney, who had harsh words for the teen tried as an adult.
“It is the most heinous type of crime there could be,” the judge told him, inveighing against the attack on the educator, in comments reported by Las Vegas-based CBS affiliate KLAS.
In April, Martinez Garcia pleaded guilty to attempted murder, attempted sexual assault, and battery with a deadly weapon resulting in serious bodily harm. He originally faced a dozen charges in the attack on his teacher during a discussion about grades.
According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the then-16-year-old “got violent” with the teacher during that discussion, “punching the victim and strangled her until she lost consciousness.”
Prosecutors also alleged a sexual assault occurred.
The incident occurred in the back of a classroom, near a computer, during office hours at Eldorado High School.
Prosecutors shared grim, never-before-publicized details during Martinez Garcia’s sentencing hearing this week.
According to reporting by the Las Vegas Sun, the two were supposed to talk about the teenager turning in missing assignments.
He began by choking her with a cord from behind.
Next, the woman’s wrists were cut, prosecutors said on Wednesday, then she was trapped underneath bookshelves.
“Sade remembers him saying, ‘Why won’t you die?”” prosecutors told the court, repeating the phrase as the attack went on and on, KLAS reported.
At one point, the paper reported, Martinez Garcia paused his onslaught to answer a phone call from his mother.
The victim spoke during an impact statement.
“I have been in prison by him twice now,” she said, according to the Sun. “The first time was during the actual attack. He held me hostage in my own classroom. I lost consciousness at his hands numerous times. He would beat me until my body just couldn’t take it again and again. I just thought there was no way I was making it out of that classroom alive. The second imprisonment has been every day since. My body and mind feel as though they’re no longer my own.”
“It only makes sense that he should be in prison for as long as possible,” she concluded.
Her family also addressed the court, explaining she suffers from chronic pain and has post-traumatic stress disorder, the paper reported. She is in her 2uses to use a walker to move around.
The victim’s father said his daughter’s name translates to “crown princess” in his native language, according to the Sun.
“What’s left of her is a hollow, empty human being, not a princess,” he reportedly said.
Martinez Garcia also spoke at the hearing.
“I’m sorry, and I regret the things I have done,” he said, according to KLAS. “I will tell myself I have no one to blame but myself.”
Public defender Tyler Gaston sought to assign some of the blame elsewhere, saying the attack was likely caused by a drug called montelukast. His client used it for his asthma. The FDA has linked the drug to “serious neuropsychiatric events.”
“He was no history of anything but being a perfect loving kid,” Gaston argued. “Jonathan did something bad to someone, so we as a society need to do something bad to him. That’s not justice.”
According to the Sun, he cried as his attorney played a slideshow of him as a child. In the pictures, he was smiling.
Marisa Sarnoff contributed to this report.
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Jonathan Martinez Garcia sentenced for brutal attack
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