Trial underway for man accused of kidnapping, stabbing boy to death

Prosecutors say the motive behind the brutal murder of the child was drugs

HOUSTON - A death penalty trial involving the kidnapping and murder of a 6-year-old boy from more than two decades ago got underway Monday.

Prosecutors say the motive behind the brutal murder of the child was drugs.

After the kidnapping and murder took place, the defendant fled the country. He was brought back to the U.S. in 2008 and prosecutors Monday asked a jury to convict him of capital murder.

"We will be asking you to hold the defendant accountable," said prosecutor Justin Wood.

In opening statements, prosecutors told the jury that evidence will prove that Obel Cruz-Garcia is responsible for the kidnapping and murder of 6-year-old Angelo Garcia, Jr.

The brutal crime happened on Sept. 30, 1992 when masked men broke into the family's apartment, severely beat the victim's stepfather, raped his mother and kidnapped Angelo -- all because of a dispute over drugs.

"Thirty-six hours after Angelo was kidnapped and had gone missing, the defendant bought a ticket, got on a plane to Puerto Rico, never to come back," said Wood.

Garcia has denied any involvement in the murder, but prosecutors say Angelo's parents used to sell cocaine for Garcia, who goes by the name "Chico."

"How much credibility are you going to give witnesses that are admitted liars and drug dealers?" said defense attorney Skip Cornelius.

In tearful testimony, the victim's mother said she and her husband used to sell cocaine for Garcia, but when they tried to stop, he terrorized the family.

She says Angelo remained missing for six weeks until his body with multiple stab wounds was found in Baytown creek, still wearing his favorite pajamas.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.

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