Wife, boyfriend arrested in murder of husband

September 19, 2008 3:20:51 PM PDT
A 31-year-old man and his girlfriend are facing charges after police say the pair murdered the woman's husband and disposed of the body in a Staten Island park. Prosecutors allege that Julio Diaz murdered 32-year-old Jason Garcia with a plastic bag and disposed of the body near the entrance to Great Kills Park in May, just before moving in with Garcia's wife, Nicole, and the couple's two children.

Nicole Garcia is accused of helping dispose of the body three weeks before Diaz moved in.

Diaz is charged with second-degree murder and tampering with evidence, while Garcia is facing charges of tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution.

Prosecutors say Diaz, who had been having an affair with Nicole Garcia, beat and choked Jason Garcia inside the couple's Brookfield Avenue home in Great Kills. Garcia then lost consciousness, according to prosecutors, and Diaz wrapped him in a blanket and taped a plastic bag over his head.

The Garcias reportedly had a tumultuous relationship, and Nicole Garcia claims she fled the house because of violence in the home. Officials say she went to see Diaz, and the pair returned to the house before the fight broke out.

Investigators believe Garcia was still alive after the fight, before Diaz allegedly bound his head with tape and the plastic bag.

Authorities say Diaz and Nicole Garcia took Jason Garcia's driver's license, wedding band and cell phone to make his death look like the result of a robbery. But the medical examiner's report said the autopsy revealed Garcia had been choked, strangled and suffocated.

Nicole Garcia is also facing DWI charges after police say she crashed her SUV a block from her house on Monday.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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