Remember Anthony Garcia, the New Mexico supermarket employee accused of feeding female customers semen-tainted yogurt?
Well, he's back. And apparently he's changed his mind. Reports indicate that he has decided to plead guilty to federal charges of adulterating food and lying to investigators.
Why the sudden change of heart? And what's with the bizarre charges?
Adulterating food and lying to investigators are fairly serious charges. Anthony Garcia could have been charged with some form of assault or battery. In New Mexico, these crimes are misdemeanors with sentences of up to 1 year and a $1,000 fine.
Adulterating food carries a sentence of up to 3 years with a $250,000 fine. Lying to federal investigators carries a sentence of up to five years.
That's a maximum of 8 years if he is required to serve his sentences consecutively.
As for why Garcia has chosen to plead guilty, it may be the result of a plea bargain. With the help of DNA evidence, prosecutors linked him to the semen-tainted yogurt. This alone is likely to convince a jury that he lied to investigators and altered the food.
It would also be nearly impossible to wage a defense. There are few, if any, convincing explanations for the semen's presence. Moreover, there doesn't appear to be any mention of insanity.
With such damning evidence and no viable defense, it's often better for a defendant to strike a deal. It provides certainty and can lead to lesser punishments.
Stay tuned for more information on the semen-tainted yogurt to see if this is, in fact, the case. Sentencing will be interesting, to say the least.
- Woman Alleges Weird Assault at Market (Courthouse News Service)
- Semen-Tainted Yogurt: NM Man Charged After DNA Evidence Link (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- Casey Anthony Verdict: She's Guilty...of Lying (FindLaw Blotter)