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Body in Napa County linked to Kenwood standoff suspect


The fugitive who died Wednesday in Kenwood after an exchange of gunfire with sheriff's deputies confessed to an earlier killing and told negotiators in the 19-hour standoff where to find the body, Sonoma County sheriff's officials said Friday.

On Thursday, authorities discovered the body near Lake Hennessey, in eastern Napa County, Napa County Sheriff's Capt. Steve Blower said.

The slain man hasn't been identified and a motive for his death remained unclear Friday, Blower said.

Miguel Angel Garcia, 32, was wanted in Napa County on several felony charges, including child endangerment and illegal possession of a gun and drugs.

As negotiators tried to coax him from a trailer in Kenwood, Garcia told them he had killed someone and committed other recent violent crimes, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.

Garcia refused to surrender from the trailer where he'd barricaded himself late Tuesday off Hoff Road and he died Wednesday night after suffering at least one gunshot wound to the chest, according to Petaluma police.

It remained unclear Friday what other crimes in the region he may have committed.

Garcia appears to have a criminal record in Mendocino County, where court and law enforcement documents show at least three arrests — on child endangerment, drug and weapons charges and conspiracy — resulting in at least one conviction. Some of the records are attached to Garcia under a different last name — Marron.

The new details emerged Friday afternoon as Sonoma County sheriff's officials presented a different sequence of events during the final moments of the fatal standoff.

The new information did not, however, clarify whether Garcia died as a result of deputies' gunfire or possibly of a self-inflicted gunshot.

Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas did not return calls to his office Friday.

Two days after the shooting, the Sheriff's Office and the Petaluma Police Department, which is investigating the incident, continued to withhold key details, including whether Garcia was armed in the moments before he collapsed outside the trailer door. They have refused even to provide his name, which was confirmed by others on the property.

But Sonoma County Sheriff's Capt. Rob Giordano said Friday it was his understanding that the initial information given by sheriff's officials was incorrect and that none of the SWAT deputies fired at the man as he stood at the door.

Gunfire from deputies had apparently come while the man still was in the trailer, Giordano said.

"My understanding is all the shots were fired before the door opened," Giordano said.

A Sonoma County sheriff's press release issued hours after the death said SWAT deputies had perceived a threat and "engaged their weapons" as the man appeared at the doorway.

In the last minutes of the standoff, as many as 26 SWAT deputies from Sonoma and Napa counties were stationed around the trailer. An additional 20 or so law enforcement officers also were at the scene.

Tear gas canisters were fired into the trailer and in response, Garcia fired multiple shots. The suspect's gunfire peppered law enforcement vehicles, close to where some officers were stationed, according to officials. A bullet also went through the window of a nearby home.

At least one deputy fired at the trailer in response and more tear gas was deployed inside, according to Petaluma police.

Garcia then appeared at the door and quickly crumpled to the ground, authorities have said. He later was pronounced dead.

At one point during the standoff, Garcia became despondent and talked of suicide, officials said.

Garcia also made calls to family, saying goodbyes, according to the man who lived in the trailer, who said he spoke to Garcia by cellphone during the standoff. The 43-year-old handyman gave only his first name, Victor.

Blower, the Napa County sheriff's captain, said the information Garcia shared with negotiators included a location for the body. Deputies Thursday morning went to a creek area in Sage Canyon off Highway 128, where they found the slain man.

Blower said the body was clothed and may have been there at least a week.

It was evident the man had died at the hands of another, Blower said, declining to give further details.

The area where the body was found wasn't difficult to get to, but without the information from the suspect, "it could have been a few more weeks before somebody stumbled on it," Blower said.

He said he didn't know if the two men had known each other.

Autopsies for both Garcia and the homicide victim were expected to be conducted Monday.

Petaluma police officials released little information Friday. A Petaluma detective sergeant and four detectives were conducting interviews in Napa County and Vallejo, Petaluma Lt. Tim Lyons said.

He declined to release other details until the investigation was further along.

Garcia, also known as Marron, appears to have a history of violent crimes that stretches back seven years in Mendocino County, where he apparently lived and worked for some time.

In June 2007, Garcia was arrested in Anderson Valley after a deputy spotted him speeding in a van, according to Mendocino County Sheriff's Capt. Greg Van Patten.

During the stop, Garcia became confrontational and got into a fighting stance, Van Patten said. The deputy used a Taser to control and arrest Garcia.

He was accused of obstructing arrest and endangering the health of the two small children in the van.

The case was later dropped for insufficient evidence following the death of the deputy, the prime witness in the case, according to Mendocino County District Attorney's Office spokesman Mike Geniella.

In October 2007, Miguel A. Marron was arrested with six other people in Ukiah on drug and weapons charges, according to court records.

He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy. Other charges were dismissed, according to court records.

He was given a suspended judgment, but faced prison if he possessed a gun or broke any laws within three years, according to court records.

Two years later, Marron was arrested again on suspicion of threatening an Anderson Valley winery coworker with a gun, saying he would kill the person, Van Patten said.

That incident apparently violated the terms of the 2007 plea agreement, but there is no record of what happened following that arrest, Van Patten said.

Staff Writer Glenda Anderson contributed to this report. You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com.