Posted: Dec 13, 2012 2:54 PM by Mike Manzoni -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Dec 13, 2012 5:48 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI -- A state appeals court on Thursday upheld a Corpus Christi man's capital murder conviction in the beating death of his girlfriend's son.
Juan "J.J." Garza, 23, was convicted in Oct. 2011 of murdering 21-month-old Texas N. Ruiz after beating him on New Year's Eve 2010.
During the trial, witnesses testified that Garza punched the child repeatedly in the chest after the child interrupted him while he was playing video games with his brothers. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Garza appealed his conviction to the Thirteenth Court of Criminal Appeals, arguing five issues during the trial, including: evidence of his being fired from Wal-Mart was admitted; a former girlfriend testified that he was abusive during their relationship; video-recorded statements from witnesses were admitted; and there was not sufficient evidence to support his conviction.
The court overruled each of his arguments.
Lisa Ruiz, the child's stepmother, said she was excited about the court's decision, but said it does not change anything. ""We still can't move on. We're going on our second year without him."
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