LONG BEACH, California — A musician who shot to death a bandmate’s wife during an argument over the 2016 presidential election was sentenced to 35 years to life in prison on Monday.
The case against John Kevin McVoy, Jr., 40, began in 2017 and was well underway before current District Attorney George Gascon issued a mandate against enhanced gun charges. The lengthy sentence included an extra 10 years for using a gun and was the maximum under state law.
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McVoy was in a garage band with Victor Garcia and went to his home to rehearse, he said. Several people were gathered around the kitchen table, including Garcia and his wife, Susan, who was holding their 2-year-old child. Someone asked McVoy whom he voted for.
When McVoy said he voted for Hillary Clinton, Garcia snapped his fingers and pointed to the door, saying, “Get the [expletive] out of my house,” prosecutor Irene Lee said.
McVoy suddenly pulled out a revolver and shot Garcia in the head. He then fired a fatal shot at Susan Garcia, which penetrated her organs, the Press-Enterprise reported. The child was not injured.
Garcia was in a coma for several months and underwent two brain surgeries in which metal plates were attached to his skull.
During the trial, McVoy testified that the shooting was in self-defense because Garcia made racist remarks and charged at him with an object that looked like a knife, the Press-Enterprise reported.
The prosecution disputed this, producing receipts showing McVoy purchased the gun a day before he visited Garcia. Other bandmates testified that the day of the killing was not a scheduled practice day. McVoy had multiple prop guns at his home and could have brought one of those if he wanted to intimidate Garcia, the prosecutor said.
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Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Laura Laesecke did not agree with McVoy’s assertion that he feared for his safety.
“He’s the one that made this something else,” she said. “There was no imminent danger at the time.”