Pleasanton Weekly

News - October 28, 2011

Teen pleads not guilty in double stabbing

Admitted to police that he'd stabbed one

by Glenn Wohltmann

The teen charged in a double September stabbing pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, despite confessing to one of the stabbing.

Victor Garcia, 16, is being tried as an adult in the stabbings of Cameron Gipson and Dawayne Barnes on Sept. 15. He admitted to police that he had stabbed Gipson but has denied the stabbing of Barnes, although in his statement to police, Garcia said he would have if he'd had the chance. Barnes and witnesses all told police that Garcia had stabbed both victims.

In court on Wednesday, after a closed conference between Garcia, his attorney, Thomas Knutsen, and Alameda County Superior Court Judge Hugh Walker, Knutsen pleaded Garcia not guilty on all counts.

Garcia is charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, each of which can carry a sentence of up to four years in state prison, and with inflicting great bodily injury, which could carry an additional sentence of three years. He's also charged with committing a violent felony, which could add another three years, and under a state statute that prohibits plea bargaining in certain violent crimes.

Knutsen told Walker that he's still missing some of the information he needs to proceed, but agreed to a November 2 appearance for Garcia for pretrial motions and the release of documents -- subpoenaed school records for both Barnes and Gipson "to determine if the student engaged in any acts of violence" or "whether the student is or is not a member, associate or affiliate of any street gang."

The stabbing occurred outside the Pleasanton school district's graphics art and utility yard in the 4700 block of First Street, a little more than a block from Village High School. High school classes were still in session at the time.

Gipson, 16, attends Amador Valley High School, and Barnes, 17, attends Village. Both are recovering, and Gipson, also known as CamCam, has since appeared on a national TV show as a rapper despite a knife wound that pierced his liver.

Police found Garcia and a male associate in front of the Civic Square Apartments on Bernal Avenue, where Garcia lives; both told police the location of the knife used in the stabbing and a fixed-blade knife has been recovered.

Garcia appeared in court dressed in a blue Alameda County Jail T-shirt and tan slacks with shackles around his waist. He's being held on $260,000 bail.


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