Salvador Garcia-Vaca, the man accused of murdering Williams native Karen Garcia in January 2018, appeared in court last week for arraignment.

During the hearing, Garcia-Vaca’s attorney Mathew Smith, filed a motion seeking to dismiss the criminal case, claiming that the judge at the preliminary hearing incorrectly allowed the case to move forward.

Last month, Garcia-Vaca appeared before Colusa Superior Court Judge Jeffery A. Thompson in shackles and a bullet proof vest for a preliminary hearing to determine if there was enough evidence to move forward with a trial for the murder charge.

After a full day of testimony by several witnesses, Thompson ruled that the evidence presented indicated sufficient probable cause to believe the defendant committed the alleged crime.

Garcia-Vaca pleaded not guilty in September 2019 to one count of murder with special circumstances for lying in wait and a battery charge stemming from another incident with the victim in Dec. 2017.

Garcia’s body was discovered in a car parked in a Woodland shopping center parking lot in January 2018, one week after she went missing. An autopsy later determined she had died from blunt force trauma.

Garcia-Vaca, the victim’s ex-boyfriend and father of her child, was questioned by police during the week Garcia was missing. Soon after, Garcia-Vaca fled. Around this time, police obtained a search warrant to search the home that Garcia-Vaca shared with the victim and found a substantial amount of blood in a bedroom. Authorities believed Garcia-Vaca had gone to Mexico after a stolen Toyota van that he was believed to be driving was located near the U.S.-Mexico border in Oct. 2018.

Garcia-Vaca was arrested in August 2019 by the United States Marshals in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and extradited back to the Colusa County Jail, where he has remained in custody awaiting trial.

A hearing to review the defendant’s motion is scheduled for April 1 at 10:30 a.m.

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