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Murder suspect still awaits trial one year later

Date: 7/11/2011

July 11, 2011

By Chris Maza

Reminder Assistant Editor

HAMPDEN — It has been almost a year since Hampden resident Valerie Girouard was murdered. Her alleged killer, however, still has yet to stand trial.

The 47-year-old Girouard was killed in her 90 Main St. home in the early hours of July 30, 2010.

Jesus Gilberto Garcia, of 314 Fountain St. in Springfield, was arrested and charged with nine different crimes, including one count of murder and two counts of assault with intent to murder and two counts of attempt to commit aggravated rape. He is being held without right to bail as he awaits his day in court.

Hampden County Assistant District Attorney James Forsyth, who will prosecute Garcia, declined to speak directly with Reminder Publications, but a representative from his office said Garcia has one final pre-trial hearing, which is scheduled for Sept. 20, before the trial starts on Oct. 11.

According to court documents, Girouard was found dead as a result of multiple stab wounds in the kitchen of the Main Street residence after police responded to a 911 call at 3 a.m. that reported a man had been stabbed or shot.

Responding officers Jason Roath and David Houle found Girouard’s teenage daughter running down the street toward their cruiser. When they reached her, she informed them, “My ex-boyfriend is at my house killing everybody.”

She later told police she had spoken to Garcia at approximately 1 a.m. and was later awoken by the yelling of Kurt Haarmann, who also lived in the house, according to court documents.

She said she went to the kitchen and allegedly found Garcia — wearing a mask, dark shirt and nothing from the waist down — stabbing her mother as Haarmann attempted to stop him. After initially being thwarted by Garcia, she said she was eventually able to get free through the front door and run to a neighbor’s house for help.

When Roath and Houle arrived at the house, they found Haarmann lying in the street suffering from stab wounds.

After tending to Haarmann, Roath and Houle proceeded around the back of the residence and observed Girouard’s body through the window. Her murderer had fled the scene.

Garcia was arrested at his home by Hampden and Massachusetts State Police at 9:18 a.m. the same day.

Court documents add that Garcia also allegedly assaulted Girouard’s daughter on July 21, but when confronted by Girouard, he fled. No mention of a prior complaint or restraining order filed against Garcia is made in court documents.

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