Samantha Garcia, 21, and Victor Garcia, 29, are both charged in the alleged stabbing death of Philip Gregory Sanchez, who was found by police and died in a local hospital early Sept. 19.
On Wednesday, Judge Franklin Stephenson set dates for their future court appearances.
Attorney Preciliano Martinez, representing co-defendant Samantha Garcia, 21, of Modesto, told Stephenson that his client was willing to waive the 10-day time limit for a preliminary hearing.
Martinez said he was waiting for more evidence from the prosecution and agreed to a date of Oct. 29 for the hearing that will determine whether the defense and prosecution are ready to proceed.
Victor Garcia’s public defender, Lua Elvira, said in court Wednesday that she was informed Garcia’s family retained attorney Robert Forkner to represent him in the homicide case.
She said they finished finalizing the transaction with Forkner just before the Wednesday hearing.
Prosecutor Janet Smith, filling in for Deputy District Attorney Mark Ott, said Victor Garcia’s attorney needed to make an appearance and obtain discovery evidence. She requested to continue the hearing later this week.
“We need to know who he is,” Smith said, referencing Forkner.
Elvira said she preferred that the matter be continued for a week so her office wouldn’t be responsible for making copies of the discovery for Forkner, who will be taking over Victor Garcia’s defense.
Stephenson set a pre-preliminary hearing for Victor Garcia at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 29, the same day his sister will appear in court.
The judge also set a special hearing for Victor Garcia only at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 9 to confirm his legal representation.
Sanchez was found bleeding from multiple stab wounds on the 200 block of West Whittier Avenue at 12:17 a.m. on Sept. 19. He was pronounced dead at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital about an hour later.
The charges against Victor Garcia are premeditated murder, personal use of a non-firearm weapon, street terrorism, having a prior conviction and a prior prison term.
Samantha Garcia is charged with premeditated murder and being an accessory after the fact.
Both siblings are being held in San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp on $2 million bail.
Outside the courtroom, Martinez met with members of the siblings’ family, but he declined to say if they were immediate family members of the accused.
When asked how Samantha Garcia was doing, he said she was very nervous and noted that she has never been in trouble with the law before.
“She’s doing as best as can be expected,” Martinez said.
Martinez declined to speculate about the prosecution’s case against Samantha Garcia, citing he was still waiting for discovery evidence from the deputy district attorney.