Chesterton Tribune


Valpo man charged with murder of mother’s fiancé pleads to manslaughter

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A Valparaiso man who had been declared incompetent to stand trial for the murder of his mother’s fiancé has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter, the Porter County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said.

Under the plea agreement, Edward Ibarra, 24, would be sentenced to 50 years in the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC), with 10 years of that term suspended and served on formal probation.

Ibarra was originally charged with murder, after Valparaiso Police said that, on the night of Oct. 30, 2009, he fired multiple shots at Juan Garcia, 33, Ibarra’s mother’s fiancé, at his residence in the 300 block of Morgan Blvd. Garcia died three hours later at Porter Valparaiso Hospital Campus with wounds to his heart, liver, and lungs.

Ibarra’s mother, Wanda Garcia, advised investigators that her son and Garcia had been in a dispute earlier in the day, after Garcia complained that Ibarra didn’t do enough around the house to help his mother.

Ibarra was taken into custody early on the morning of Oct. 31 walking in the area of Washington Street and Indiana Ave. Ibarra admitted shooting Garcia, then leaving the house on foot, disassembling the gun, and throwing pieces of it away, police said. Parts of the gun were recovered.

Ibarra was formally charged with murder on Nov. 3, 2009, but Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa subsequently declared him incompetent to stand trial and involuntarily committed him to the care of the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction until such time as he was competent.

Murder is punishable by a term of 30 to 60 years; voluntary manslaughter, a Class A felony punishable by a term of 20 to 50 years.

“Once (Ibarra) is sentenced, the court suggests the Porter County Jail transport (Ibarra) to the DOC as soon as possible,” the change-of-plea document states.


Posted 10/26/2012