News Releases

September 18, 2015: Woman Sentenced For Her Role in Ritualistic Murder

Greg Risling, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A 30-year-old woman was sentenced today to more than 16 years in state prison after she pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and other counts for helping kill and dismember a man in a downtown hotel room, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Melissa Hope Garcia pleaded guilty to one count each of voluntary manslaughter with a knife use allegation, first-degree residential burglary, second-degree robbery and mayhem. She was immediately sentenced to 16 years, eight months in prison by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler.

Deputy District Attorney John McKinney with the Major Crimes Division prosecuted the case.

Garcia and her husband, Edward Garcia Jr., were convicted for the Nov. 28, 2010, murder of Herbert Tracy White.

In June, a jury found Edward Garcia Jr. guilty of first-degree murder. Jurors also found true the special circumstances of murder during a robbery and murder involving torture. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

McKinney said the couple killed White as part of a ritualistic slaying to murder and dismember a human being. Some of White’s remains were found in a backpack in a room at a hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Other body parts were discovered underneath a blood-stained mattress in the room where the Garcias stayed.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.