FAIRFIELD — The appeals of the murder convictions for the men who killed Fairfield Councilman Matt Garcia in 2008 reached an important milestone Monday.
The lawyer for Henry D. Williams, who shot and killed Garcia, filed the last of the paperwork needed for the appeal that has been moving at a snail’s pace for more than two years.
The only step left in the appeal process before a ruling on Williams’ appeal would be oral arguments in front of a three-judge panel for the Court of Appeals. No request for oral arguments has been made yet by either Williams’ lawyer or by the Attorney General’s Office, which represents the state.
The paperwork for the appeal for Williams’ accomplice, Gene A. Combs, was completed in July. In August, Combs’ attorney asked to present oral arguments to an appeals court panel. The court has not set a date for those oral arguments.
Combs was with Williams in a car parked down the street from their drug dealer in Cordelia on the night of Sept. 1, 2008. The pair had gone to the area because the dealer had taken $50 from Combs for some methamphetamine earlier in the day, but then stiffed him on the drug buy.
As the pair were waiting, Garcia drove past them and parked at a nearby home to visit a friend. Williams mistook Garcia for the dealer, and with a gun provided by Combs, fired several shots toward Garcia, striking him once in the back of the head.
In separate jury trials in 2010, Williams and Combs were both convicted of murder. Williams was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. Combs got 25 years to life in prison.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.