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Deaf Tampa Man's Bid for Parole in 1983 Murder Conviction Denied

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A hearing-impaired Tampa man convicted of a 1981 murder will remain in prison until at least 2020 after state parole commissioners decline to consider his request for early release.

Felix Garcia, now 56, was convicted in the summer of 1983 for the killing of Joseph Tramontana during what authorities say was a murder carried out in the course of a robbery in a Tampa hotel room.

Garcia's proponents say his whereabouts for a seven-hour period during and around the time of the crime are known, and that his siblings, including his currently-incarcerated older brother Frank, framed him. They also accuse the trial court with failing to provide him with a fair trial due to his deafness.

However, despite this evidence presented at trial by his defense team, Garcia was convicted of first-degree murder and armed robbery, and sentenced to life in prison on the former count and 99 years on the latter count.

In making its decision, the board said that its decision was not based upon guilt, as they deferred to the trial court's verdict and its affirmation by appellate courts. Commissioners say their decision was based strictly upon Garcia's post-incarceration behavior.

Garcia is serving his sentence in Virgina at present. He was moved to the commonwealth eighteen months ago as their prison system offers programs for deaf inmates, while Florida's system does not.

The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.

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  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

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