Jury acquits Wichita Falls man of deadly conduct charges in wedding party incident

A jury took less than 30 minutes to find Anthony “AJ” David Garcia not guilty of three counts of deadly conduct-discharge of a firearm during a wedding party in June 2018, according to officials.

89th District Court seal

Garcia, 36, of Wichita Falls was acquitted late Wednesday afternoon by a jury of eight men and four women after a trial this week in 89th District Court, according to officials.

“We were very pleased with the jury’s complete acquittal on all three felony counts,” defense attorney Ben Hoover said in a statement Thursday evening.

“We knew that AJ did not shoot at any person but only fired a warning shot into the ground to protect himself from further harm,” Hoover said.

He said the jury got it right.

“We are so thankful for their careful attention throughout this three-day trial,” Hoover said.

“The trial jury is the gatekeeper that protects us all from wrongful convictions and we are so thankful we trusted in them to decide the case,” Hoover said.

Acquittals are rare in Wichita County district courts.

Garcia was accused of going to a wedding party June 16, 2018, in northern Wichita County, firing a pistol into the ground at the feet of the groom, whose mother was nearby, and then firing out of the window of his pickup, according to allegations in court records.

The wedding party was at the corner of Friberg Church Road and Farm-to-Market Road 171, according to allegations in the affidavit.

A church is located there, just northeast of Sheppard Air Force Base.

A conviction for deadly conduct-discharge of a firearm is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Trish Choate, enterprise watchdog reporter for the Times Record News, covers education, courts, breaking news, politics and more. Contact Trish with news tips at tchoate@gannett.com. Her Twitter handle is @Trishapedia.

This article originally appeared on Wichita Falls Times Record News: Anthony David Garcia acquitted of deadly conduct charges