Valpo man gets 40 years for killing mother’s boyfriend
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent November 16, 2012 4:14PM
Updated: December 19, 2012 1:29PM
VALPARAISO — More than three years after he shot and killed his mother’s boyfriend, Edward A. Ibarra is going to prison.
On Friday, Porter County Superior Judge William Alexa sentenced Ibarra, 24, of Valparaiso, to 40 years incarceration and 10 years on probation after that.
Ibarra had pleaded guilty to Class A felony voluntary manslaughter on Oct. 24, a day before a scheduled hearing to suppress evidence in his case and three weeks before the Nov. 13 start of his trial for the murder of Juan Garcia, 33, of Illinois.
Ibarra didn’t make a statement during his sentencing and sat quietly through the proceedings, including when the victim’s sister, Enedelia Jasso, read a letter from the victim’s son and told Ibarra “I hate you.”
“I don’t care how many years you get in prison because God’s punishment will be much worse,” Jasso said.
The son of the victim was 13 years old when Ibarra shot and killed Garcia in October 2009 after a physical altercation.
Police investigating the death found contusions on Ibarra’s face, but Garcia tried to get away when Ibarra drew the 9 mm pistol. Some shots hit Garcia in the back, and afterward, Ibarra dismantled the gun and tossed pieces during a walk.
Public defender Peter Boyles said after Ibarra’s Oct. 24 plea that investigators found high levels of cocaine in Garcia’s system and that Garcia’s history of substance abuse and physical violence created fear for Ibarra.
Although chief deputy prosecutor Matt Frost declined to speak Friday, after the plea he said the difference between murder and manslaughter is “sudden heat,” although both are a killing done intentionally.
Boyles and the prosecution had been working on the manslaughter plea agreement since Ibarra’s 2009 arrest.
Ibarra had twice been ruled mentally incapable of standing trial and understanding the proceedings, and he has a history of mental health issues.