GALVESTON

Friday came and went without a verdict in the case of a Galveston man accused in the stabbing death of a man during a house party in 2016.

After closing arguments Friday morning, a jury retired to deliberate whether to find Richard Lee Garcia, 29, guilty of either murder or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the death of Cole Hardeman, 20, and severe wounding of another man, court records show.

The jury spent most of the afternoon deliberating before Judge Kerry Neves sent them home late Friday, said Adam Banks Brown, Garcia’s defense attorney. The jury will resume deliberations Monday.

Prosecutors allege Garcia pulled out a knife and stabbed people after being asked to leave the house party, but defense attorneys argue he was attacked and only pulled his knife in self-defense.

Garcia attended a house party along with his brother and girlfriend in the 4200 block of Avenue S, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Garcia and his brother were asked to leave the party, but later returned and fought with an unknown number of others, according to the affidavit.

During that fight, Hardeman sustained a cut to the abdomen and a puncture wound in his chest, which hit his heart, ultimately causing his death, according to the affidavit.

But Garcia told police he was knocked to the ground during the fight and, after pulling his pocket knife while laying on the ground, began swinging his arms from side to side, but was not instigating the fight, according to the affidavit.

Investigators reported finding a knife in a grassy area of the sidewalk near the house and another knife in a driveway, according to the affidavit

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com

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