An Oceanside man who murdered the mother of his two children and then hid her body under the bed was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison today, August 26.
Last month, a jury declared Arturo Salazar, 25, guilty of using a knife to slash the throat of 21-year-old Edith Andrea Garcia, in the rented room they shared on Leeward Court. Their two children, aged two and four years, were asleep in the room at the time, according to the defendant who took the witness box during trial.
Police found the woman's body the next day, on June 13, 2013, after her family reported her missing.
Today, judge Robert Kearney said, “It is likely he will be a danger to others if not in prison” and imposed the maximum sentence possible.
The judge said Salazar will not be eligible for parole until 26 years in custody have passed, with zero good-time credits. Salazar was also ordered to pay $5000 restitution to California’s victim compensation fund.
Family members spoke to the court before the sentence was pronounced, declaring Salazar a “beast” and begging for the death penalty; or, failing that, they hoped he would get life in prison without possibility of parole.
Stepfather Wayne Craig spoke to the court, and he also read statements from the murdered woman’s brother, sister, and mother. "This heinous crime has affected my entire family,” Craig said. The bereaved man told the court that both children of the murdered woman are now “terrified at the sight of blood.”
The mother of the deceased said, “My grandkids are my reason for carrying on.” She also begged the court, “Show him the same mercy that he showed our daughter. None.”