A federal grand jury convicted a 52-year-old California woman on Monday after she was recruited by her son to murder a person living in Mission in 2018.
Viola Elizabeth Garcia, who lived in Oxnard, California, was convicted after the jury deliberated for two hours following a four-day trial, according to a United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) news release.
According to the document, Mexican Mafia gang members arranged the murder and hired a Colonia Chiques gang member, who was on parole in Oxnard, to execute the murder in exchange for $20,000.
That gang member recruited his mother, Garcia, and two additional people. They traveled from California to Texas to try to kill the person on two occasions.
During the trial, Garcia admitted she traveled to Texas with her co-conspirators in July and August 2018, and they brought guns. She also admitted she was present during a shooting in July, which became their first failed attempt.
Garcia tried again the following month.
“On Aug. 30, 2018, Garcia and co-conspirators forcibly entered the victim’s residence in Mission and attempted to execute the murder,” the release said. “Their attempt was unsuccessful and they tried to flee from the scene.”
Garcia led law enforcement on a high speed chase until she crashed her vehicle.
During her trial, Garcia tried to convince the jury that she was unaware of the agreement or the subsequent attempts to commit murder. She also claimed she traveled to Texas to visit family members and look for potential real estate for her daughter in Arizona.
The jury didn’t believe her claims and found her guilty.
U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa set sentencing for Jan. 30, 2023.
Garcia faces up to 10 years in federal prison and will remain in custody until her sentencing hearing.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to correctly identify the agency that issued the news release.