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Complex past for suspect charged with murder

Granite Bay man claims Garcia never paid for construction work
By: Penne Usher, Gold Country News Service
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Those who know Mario Garcia paint a varied portrait of the Auburn resident accused of murdering 27-year-old Christie Wilson. The 53-year-old father of two has worked in the information technology field, volunteered as a soccer coach and has a criminal history of violence. James Roach Jr., 72, of Granite Bay did some construction work for Garcia in the past and had placed a lien on Garcia's property in 1999 for non-payment. "I had a bad experience with him," Roach said Thursday. "It's just that he beat me out of a couple thousand dollars and lied to me about deals that never happened." Roach reportedly subdivided Garcia's Florence Court property and provided mapping, soil tests and designed a septic system. He said he was never paid in full. "He always cried poor," Roach said. Garcia may have claimed poverty to Roach a few years back, but he has retained two Sacramento area attorneys to defend him in a high-profile murder case. Garcia, who has pleaded "not guilty" to murdering Wilson, was the last person seen with her the morning of Oct. 5 as the two left the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln at 1:13 a.m. Many questions about Garcia's background and what he knows about Wilson's disappearance remain unanswered. Court documents show that in November 1981 in Alameda County that Garcia had gone by the names of Mario Flabio Garcia, Mario Johnson and Mario Flavio Garcia-Johnson. He married Jean Garcia in March 1984 and they have two teenage sons. Although not much is known about his previous relationships, one woman claims to be his biological daughter. Jean Garcia could not be reached for comment and has reportedly not spoken to law enforcement officials about her husband's involvement with Wilson. Ron Peters is also representing her. Why she has retained an attorney is unknown. Each time Garcia has appeared in court, he has kept his gaze down, only glancing up to answer questions posed by the court. He appears sullen. Roach said he has seen a different side. "He seemed to be an angry person," he said. "Nothing ever seems to be happy." Garcia has worked in the computer technology field and for the past three years he worked as a senior project manager for Sutter Health. He was a featured expert at a roundtable discussion on image data storage in February 2004, along with others in the medical field portrayed in a glossy covered Imaging Economics brochure. "As of last week he was no longer employed with Sutter Health," communications manager Karen Garner said Thursday. Garner stressed that Garcia did not have contact with patients, but due to confidentiality regulations couldn't discuss the matter further. Garcia remains in Placer County Jail without bail and is scheduled for a bail review hearing at 1 p.m. in Dept. 13 of Placer County Superior Court. Penne Usher can be reached at penneu@goldcountrymedia.com.