(Rick Hickman/American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, July 31, 2014 11:50 AM
Members of Wanda Barton’s family hugged one another and cried Wednesday morning at a news conference announcing the arrest of her suspected killer.
Jose Manuel Garcia Guevara, 26, was returned to Lake Charles from Mexico on Tuesday night after six years on the run. Authorities say he raped and killed Barton in front of her 4-year-old son on Feb. 19, 2008.
Calcasieu District Attorney John DeRosier said Guevara’s prosecution will begin without delay.
“It means a lot,” said Barton’s husband, Kevin Barton. “This is, like they said, the first step in getting justice finally served. I’m proud of the Sheriff’s Office and the FBI; now it’s in the hands of the DA, and I have full faith that Mr. DeRosier is going to do everything in his power to convict (Guevara) on every charge he’s been charged with.”
“It’s been very, very hard, but I think now the truth will come out,” said Barton’s sister, BJ Frieu.
The groundwork for prosecution has already been laid. Although Guevara was not in U.S. custody, he was indicted on June 5, 2008, on charges of second-degree murder, aggravated rape and aggravated burglary.
“The prosecution process starts today,” DeRosier said. “We will expedite arraignment of this individual and expedite trial of this individual and the justice process immediately.”
Guevara was illegally in the United States, working construction. Authorities have always known he returned to Mexico, but there was some concern that he may have returned to the U.S. with false documents.
Four of his roommates were also in the country illegally and were detained by the Border Patrol. One of them, Jose Jamie Torres-Doguz or Jose Torres, was held as a material witness. Torres was charged with accessory after the fact to second-degree murder. He is still available as a witness, DeRosier said.
Guevara was arrested by Mexican authorities in late 2013, FBI agent Donald Bostic said.
“It was very scary, because I kept thinking they wouldn’t release him for some reason,” Frieu said. “The FBI was very good in keeping our hopes up and telling us that it was going to happen. They were really great.”
Frieu said she hopes to one day be able to remember good memories with her sister, but now can only think about what Wanda Barton “had to endure.”
Frieu said the Bartons’ son is doing well and doesn’t have much memory of the event.As for the rest of the family, a major hurdle was cleared Tuesday in their search for justice for Wanda Barton.
“It’s been a lot of frustration, but it’s coming to an end,” Kevin Barton said. “The end is near. We just have to stay on task and do what needs to be done.”
Posted By: not going to take it anymore On: 8/1/2014
Title: criminal illegals
Thank you, Hussein Obama, for letting in this criminal trash so he could kill one of our neighbors. How many more illegal criminals from Mexico and other countries will Hussein Obama welcome to Amerika so they can kill us? 5 million? 25 million? Hussein Obama is ALLOWING these criminals to come into our country because he wants to give them the right to vote, and of course, the only party these criminals would vote for is the DEMOCRAT/COMMUNIST/CRIMINAL party. That's what this is all about, votes for the Democrats, so they can continue to destroy and kill Amerika.