Garcia v. State, 010919 AKCA, A-12522

Docket Nº:A-12522
Opinion Judge:ALLARD, JUDGE
Party Name:ARKIMEDES GARCIA, Appellant, v. STATE OF ALASKA, Appellee.
Attorney:Emily L. Jura, Assistant Public Defender, and Quinlan Steiner, Public Defender, Anchorage, for the Appellant. Stephen B. Wallace (brief), District Attorney, Kodiak, and Michal Stryszak (oral argument), Assistant Attorney General, Anchorage, and Jahna Lindemuth, Attorney General, Juneau, for the A...
Judge Panel:Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, Allard, Judge, and Suddock, Superior Court Judge.
Case Date:January 09, 2019
Court:Court of Appeals of Alaska
 
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ARKIMEDES GARCIA, Appellant,

v.

STATE OF ALASKA, Appellee.

No. A-12522

Court of Appeals of Alaska

January 9, 2019

UNPUBLISHED See Alaska Appellate Rule 214(d)

Appeal from the Superior Court, Trial Court No. 3KO-15-317 CR Third Judicial District, Kodiak, Frank A. Pfiffiner, Judge.

Emily L. Jura, Assistant Public Defender, and Quinlan Steiner, Public Defender, Anchorage, for the Appellant.

Stephen B. Wallace (brief), District Attorney, Kodiak, and Michal Stryszak (oral argument), Assistant Attorney General, Anchorage, and Jahna Lindemuth, Attorney General, Juneau, for the Appellee.

Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, Allard, Judge, and Suddock, Superior Court Judge. [*]

MEMORANDUM DECISION

ALLARD, JUDGE

In June 2015, twenty-one-year-old Arkimedes Garcia broke into the Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Church in Kodiak and, in the span often minutes, caused significant damage to church property and to various items of religious significance within the church. Garcia injured himself during his attack, and his blood was later found all over the altar room and near entry doors. Among the religious items damaged or desecrated were Saint Herman's Cross, two holy table crosses, two altar crosses (gifts from the head of the church in Russia), the altar tabernacle, the antimens cloth, the reserved sacrament, the chrism oil, and sacred vestments. The monetary damage to the church's property was later estimated at $ 109, 485. But the greater cost to the church and its parishioners was the nonmonetary harm caused by the desecration of sacred items, some of which could not be replaced or fully repaired.

Garcia was arrested as he left the church. He was only partially clothed, and he was sweating profusely. Although he was suspected of being under the influence of a stimulant, a subsequent drug test revealed only the presence of THC (a metabolite of marijuana). Garcia had no prior criminal history.

Garcia is religious and was raised a devout Catholic. He moved to Kodiak from Washington in 2014 to become a commercial fisher. Approximately two weeks before his attack on the church, Garcia suffered a closed head trauma during a professional mixed martial arts fight. Both Garcia's employer and a close friend reported that Garcia's behavior changed dramatically after the fight. He became increasingly erratic and uncharacteristically antagonistic; he was also abusing alcohol and marijuana. Garcia's priest in Kodiak testified at sentencing that he went to see Garcia the night before the incident in response to concerns from Garcia's friends that he was "reaching a crisis state." According to the priest, Garcia appeared exhausted, burned out, and completely drained.

Garcia was originally indicted on one count of burglary in the second degree, 1 eight counts of criminal mischief in the third degree, 2 and one count of criminal mischief in the third degree under a different subsection.[3] The parties later reached a plea agreement. Under the terms of this agreement, Garcia pleaded guilty to a single consolidated count of criminal mischief in the third degree. In exchange, the State agreed to dismiss the remaining charges. As part of the agreement, Garcia also agreed to waive his right to a jury trial on the State's proposed statutory aggravated - AS 12.55.155(c)(10) ("the conduct constituting the offense was among the most serious conduct included in the definition of the offense").4 Sentencing was otherwise left to the discretion of the court.

As a first felony offender convicted of a class C felony, Garcia faced a presumptive sentencing range of 0 to 2 years.5 However, if aggravator (c)(10) was proved, the court would be authorized to impose a sentence up to the statutory...

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