Judge sentences Fresno man who fatally stabbed another man for talking to his girlfriend

·2 min read
Fresno police

A Fresno man, who was convicted in November of killing in a fit of jealousy was sentenced Thursday to 50-years-to-life in prison.

Daniel Leyva, 53, was found guilty of first-degree murder for the stabbing death of Miguel Garcia after the men got into an argument outside of a southeast Fresno smoke shop on Aug. 19, 2018.

Garcia is alleged to have made a comment to Leyva’s then-girlfriend that Leyva did not like. A fight ensued and Garcia was stabbed in the chest.

Family members of Garcia, a 38-year-old husband and father of four children, said they had mixed emotions about the conclusion of the case.

“It makes it real,” said Jasmine Nunez, Garcia’s sister. “This whole time we have been waiting for justice for my brother. I felt like he was out doing his thing and that somehow he would be back. But now that we close this chapter, it is really hitting me that he is not going to come home.“

Nunez added that she will finally be able to share some good news with her elderly parents about her brother’s case.

“I can tell them we got justice for my brother.”

Garcia helped care for his 88-year-old mother and his 90-year-old father who moved from Kern County to Fresno County to be closer to family.

“It’s hard for my parents to realize he is not here, He was their baby,” Nunez said. “They did not think they were going to bury their son, they thought he was going to bury them.”

Leyva, who showed little emotion at his sentencing hearing, was represented by Douglas Foster.

As part of Leyva’s sentencing he will be required to make restitution to Garcia’s family in the amount of $77,500. Although Leyva initially balked at paying that amount, he withdrew his objection on Thursday.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Amy Cobb said she was pleased Leyva received a lengthy prison term. Superior Court Judge Arlan Harrell took into consideration Leyva’s 1991 conviction for manslaughter.

“Michael Leyva needed to be removed from the streets and put someplace where he could never do this to a family again,” Cobb said. “He has shown that he is willing to do this more than one time and I have no doubt that had he not been been held accountable he would have continued to live in a violent way.”