Radio host pleads not guilty to trespass charge

By Chris Baxter, The Observer January 15, 2014 10:57 am

Garcia
Garcia
 

A local radio personality pleaded not guilty to a trespassing charge in court Tuesday afternoon.

Edward “Eddie” Garcia, host of the “Speak Your Mind” radio talk show, appeared in Union County Court for a plea hearing in the case regarding an alleged trespassing.

Garcia was arrested Sept. 5, 2013, on a charge of second-degree trespass. He is accused of unlawfully and knowingly entering or remaining at a dwelling in La Grande where his ex-girlfriend lived.

A bench warrant was issued in November on an allegation that Garcia violated his release agreement, which required him to have no contact with the victims of the case. Garcia subsequently turned himself in on the warrant, was arrested and posted bail Nov. 13. Judge Brian Dretke said in court that Garcia was not given explicit instruction on how to handle public areas in which he may encounter the victim. 

Dretke also noted that Garcia had already paid bail.

Deputy District Attorney Jared Boyd said in court that he will be amending the charge to trespass in the first degree.

“The facts in the police report are that he actually entered into his ex-girlfriend’s parents’ home without permission,” Boyd said later in an email statement. “Because that is a ‘dwelling’ under the law, this should be a criminal trespass in the first degree.”

Boyd said it would be a routine fix to amend the charge.

In an email statement, Garcia said the victims filed a false report.

“My name is being maliciously defamed by the complainant, an ex-girlfriend with whom I moved 3,000 miles to start a family in La Grande,” he said.

Garcia’s statement goes on to say a “biased or overzealous police officer charged me based on false statements and the officer withheld vital factual information in his report to the DA that were made to him by the parties.”

In court, Boyd said the contact between Garcia and the victim could be escalating to a stalking case.

“Law enforcement is continuing to investigate reports of unwanted contacts and will forward any reports to the DA’s office for review,” Boyd said later.

Dretke noted in court that following Garcia’s November arrest there had not been any reports of contact with the victim.