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Man sentenced in drunk driving fatality

Nathaniel Garcia (Buy photo)

By Joe Beck

WOODSTOCK -- A man formerly from Toms Brook will spend more than seven years in prison after he was sentenced Wednesday in the drunk driving death of a 59-year-old Strasburg woman.

Nathaniel Scott Garcia was driving a 2001 Saturn station wagon southbound on U.S. 11 just north of Mount Hebron Road at 12:05 a.m. on April 15 when he crossed the center line and hit a 2006 Hyundai Elantra driven by Jeanetta Debra Stickley, 59, of Strasburg. She died at the scene from her injuries.

The total sentence of seven years and three months imposed by Shenandoah County Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp is well above the state guidelines for involuntary manslaughter and two other crimes -- drunk driving and use of marijuana -- committed by Garcia.

Court records list four reasons for the unusually tough sentence from Hupp: Garcia's lack of remorse for Stickley's death, use of marijuana, an extended period of drinking prior to the crash and Garcia's refusal to accept a ride home that was offered to him before he drove away from a party.

Commonwealth's Attorney Amanda Wiseley said in an interview Thursday that Garcia hit Stickley's car after a weekend of heavy drinking.

"He just spent two days partying, partying here and partying there," Wiseley said.

Wiseley said she concluded that Garcia felt no remorse for his role in the fatal crash after listening to tape recordings of the defendant's phone conversations from jail.

"I spent two days listening to jail telephone calls and was able to glean from listening to them that he didn't have any remorse for the victim," Wiseley said.

Hupp also sentenced Garcia to eight years probation, four years supervised and four years unsupervised, after completion of the prison sentence.

Hupp also ordered Garcia to pay $16,498 restitution to the Stickley's estate.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com

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