A trial is set to begin Tuesday for a Galveston man charged with murder in connection with a 2016 stabbing death during a house party.

Richard Lee Garcia, 29, of Galveston, is charged with murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the death of Cole Hardeman, 20, court records show.

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;


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