Alfredo Garcia was sentenced to death by the State of Arizona for a murder committed during a robbery. According to court documents Alfredo Garcia and James Sheffield would enter a bar while the owner was refilling the ATM. The owner would be involved in a brief struggle before he was shot twice causing his death. Alfredo Garcia and James Sheffield attempted to carjack a vehicle and failed so they boarded a city bus. Ten days later Alfredo Garcia and James Sheffield were arrested. James Sheffield plead guilty and was sentenced to life and would die in prison shortly afterwards. Alfredo Garcia went to trial, was convicted and sentenced to death.
Alfredo Garcia 2021 Information
ASPC Eyman, Browning Unit
PO Box 3400
ALFREDO L. GARCIA 047398
Florence, AZ 85132
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On May 21, 2002, bar owner Steve Johnson withdrew a large amount of cash from the bank to re-fill the ATM at Harley’s Club 155, one of the bars he owned. When Steve arrived at the bar, he spoke briefly to the bartender and then proceeded to head to the ATM to re-fill it with cash. As Steve was re-filling the ATM, Garcia and co-defendant James Sheffield, armed with a gun, entered the bar through the back door and ordered Steve to drop the cash. Steve did as he was told, and yelled to both Garcia and Sheffield to get out of the bar. Steve also told his bartender to “get out of here” as a scuffle among Steve and both defendants was occurring. The bartender then heard two shots and the defendants fled the scene, dropping a trail of 20 dollar bills in their path. Garcia and Sheffield attempted to force a lady out of her car but were unsuccessful; then ended up getting on a city bus. Garcia was subsequently arrested on June 1, 2002. Sheffield pled guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to natural life; he died in prison shortly after sentencing.
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On the afternoon of May 21, 2002, Daniel Anderson was tending bar at Harley’s Club 155. Steven Johnson, the bar’s owner, was talking with Anderson. Garcia entered and asked to use the restroom; they directed him toward the rear of the bar, where there was also a back door. Shortly thereafter, Johnson went to the rear of the bar and began fixing a broken ATM. Anderson followed and they continued talking. Johnson kneeled beside the ATM with a stack of $20 bills.
¶ 3 Garcia suddenly burst through the back door and shouted “drop the money.” Directly behind Garcia was James Taylor Sheffield, who was crouching and carrying a gun. Johnson stood, threw the $20 bills on the ground, and said “just get out, get out of here.” Garcia pushed Johnson against the wall. Anderson stood “frozen” until Johnson looked at him and said “get out of here.” Anderson ran into the bar’s office, pushed an alarm button, and then escaped. He heard a gunshot before entering the office and heard a scuffling sound followed by a second gunshot as he fled.
¶ 4 Anderson went to another bar and called the police. Upon arriving at Harley’s, police found Johnson’s body outside the back door and $20 bills scattered nearby. Police also viewed video recordings from bus security cameras on the afternoon of Johnson’s murder. The recordings showed Garcia and Sheffield boarding a bus near the crime scene and later getting off at the same stop. The investigation ultimately led police to arrest Garcia on June 1 and Sheffield on June 6, 2002.
¶ 5 Garcia and Sheffield were each indicted on one count of first degree murder and one count of armed robbery; their trials were later severed. On November 13, 2007, a jury found Garcia guilty on both counts. After learning of possible juror misconduct, the trial court empanelled a new jury for the aggravation and penalty phases. The second jury found that Garcia was a major participant in the felony and was recklessly indifferent to Johnson’s life. This jury also found two aggravators: Garcia had been previously convicted of a serious offense, see A.R.S. § 13-751(F)(2) (Supp.2009); and he had committed first degree murder for pecuniary gain, see A.R.S. § 13-751(F)(5).2 Concluding there was no mitigation sufficiently substantial to call for leniency, the jury determined that Garcia should be sentenced to death.