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Judge hands down stiff sentence to killer of a Burbank police officer

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Photo of Burbank Police Office Matthew Pavelka courtesy

Photo of Burbank Police Office Matthew Pavelka courtesy

A collective sigh of relief in B-town today after the killer of Burbank Police Officer, Matthew Pavelka, was sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole, as part of a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty. This morning during a hearing, 28-year-old David Garcia reportedly pleaded guilty to first degree murder in the shooting death of Officer Pavelka and attempted murder, for the wounding of Burbank Police Officer Gregory Campbell. Garcia was immediately sentenced by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry.

Twenty-six year old Pavelka had been on the force less than a year, when he lost his life during a gun battle with two men in the parking lot of the Ramada Inn near the Burbank Airport on November 15, 2003. Garcia’s accomplice,  25-year-old Ramon Aranda was shot and killed and Officer Campbell was seriously wounded, but survived. Garcia fled the scene. An intense manhunt led authorities across the border where Garcia was arrested in Tijuana on November 27, Thanksgiving Day.

Garcia also pleaded guilty to a number of other charges including one count of transportation of methamphetamine, two counts each of possession of a machine gun and possession of an assault weapon and one count of possession of a silencer.

Pavelka was the first Burbank police officer to be killed in the line of duty in more than 40 years.

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5 Responses to Judge hands down stiff sentence to killer of a Burbank police officer

  1. Burbanker Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    The judge did not hand down a stiff sentence. This was a plea bargain, Garcia agreed to the sentence and the judge just accepted it. It leaves questions as to why such a light sentence and why no trial.

  2. Fronnie Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 5:53 pm #


    In the first sentence of this post it says “… as part of a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty.” By the way, a judge can reject a plea bargain. In this case, the judge accepted the plea bargain and then sentenced Garcia. Frequently, a defendant agrees to a plea bargain to avoid a jury trial.

    Life in prison without parole you say that’s “..a light sentence.” I think it’s a pretty tough sentence.

  3. DixieFlyer Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    Participation in the Cold Blooded Murder of one Burbank Police Officer and the Attempted Murder of another is the infliction of a “pretty tough sentence”.

    The attempts going on at roll calls today by District Attorney reps & others to put lipstick on this PIG are disgraceful.

  4. Fronnie Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 10:23 pm #


    At one point, I had heard that the Burbank Police mess may have damaged the prosecution case against Garcia so badly that he might get to cop a plea to a lesser charge and be able to walk out of prison in a few years. I am glad that did not happen.

  5. DixieFlyer Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    Miss Fronnie,

    We have NO reason to believe that that walk still won’t happen.

    The so-called lawyers representing the Public have amply demonstrated that they have a “different” agenda.

    When will the District Attorney address the People of Burbank?

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