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Burbank police officer murder case delayed again

Judge grants additional 90 days so attorneys can continue to review evidence.

October 30, 2011|By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com

The case involving David Garcia, the man accused of killing a Burbank police officer in 2003, was postponed this week in Los Angeles County Superior Court to Jan. 10 as attorneys continue to review evidence.

The decision to allow more time was made in the downtown Los Angeles courtroom Wednesday.

“We turned over some additional information the defense was requesting and the court granted them a 90-day continuance,” said county Deputy District Attorney Frank Tavelman, of the crimes against peace officers section.

Garcia, 27, faces one count each of murder, attempted murder, transportation of methamphetamine and five counts of weapons violations, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

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Prosecutors say Garcia shot and killed Burbank Police Officer Matthew Pavelka, 26, in the parking lot of a Ramada Inn as he went to the aid of Officer Gregory Campbell in a drug-related incident.

Garcia was the passenger in a black Cadillac Escalade that both officers had made contact with. Garcia allegedly shot at Pavelka several times. Campbell was shot in the abdomen and neck by the driver.

Pavelka died of his injuries at a local hospital.

A federal case that found nine members of the Vineland Boyz street gang guilty of federal narcotics, weapons and violent crime offenses was concluded in 2006. Seven of the nine men were convicted of being involved with a racketeering enterprise.

Prosecutors in that case said the gang was tied to the killing of Pavelka.

The current case against Garcia has been delayed for years, due in part to an FBI investigation into the Burbank Police Department.

Tavelman said the delay also was a result of getting evidence from the racketeering case to Garcia’s defense team. Those matters have now been resolved, he added.

Garcia is being held without bail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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