Man serving 60 years for grisly dismemberment murder will stay imprisoned

A man sentenced to 60 years for killing and dismembering his boyfriend will stay in prison, a state appeals court ruled Wednesday.

Pedro Garcia had appealed his sentence, arguing that it was excessive, that he did not voluntarily waive his Miranda rights, and that gruesome photographs of the crime scene should not have been shown in court.

A panel of appellate judges, noting that the record shows Garcia knowingly waived his rights — and also did not object to the evidence mentioned in the appeal — denied the request.  

Another man who received a life sentence for the murder, Wilfredo Sanchez, was denied an appeal in August 2016.

Garcia had a relationship and lived in a studio apartment in Cliffside Park with Francisco Gonzalez Fuentes in late 2010 and early 2011. 

In December 2010, Fuentes was in El Salvador while Garcia lived at the apartment. Garcia invited Sanchez to move in. Both men were living there when Fuentes came back from El Salvador.

Multiple witnesses, including the victim’s sister and other tenants in the apartment building, said at trial that Garcia abused Fuentes and regularly became angry when their relationship was discussed.

Fuentes disappeared in January 2011, and authorities investigated the disappearance as a homicide after finding blood in several spots in the apartment. 

The next day, a K-9 cadaver dog found blood in the apartment parking lot and at three spots nearby, including a church.

At the church were two garbage bags containing dismembered human remains, knives, a knife sharpener, clothes, and several household items stained with blood.

The appellate judges concluded that the errors Garcia alleged in the appeal “were not clearly capable of producing an unjust result” and his sentence “does not shock the judicial conscience.”

Joe Brandt can be reached at jbrandt@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JBrandt_NJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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