After COVID-19 trial delay, Grand Rapids man convicted in shooting deaths of pair found in car
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — After a trial delay related to COVID-19, a Grand Rapids man has been convicted in the shooting deaths of two people found in a car.
Juan Nico Garcia, 32, was charged with two counts of open murder, several weapons offenses and attempted murder.
Police alleged he shot and killed Jai’onna Braden, 20, and her friend, Qauvon Lee, 23, on June 7, 2020. They were found dead in a running car parked on Bemis Street SE near Eastern Avenue.
Earlier testimony showed that Braden and Garcia once dated.
Related: ‘It’s about jealousy,’ family of Grand Rapids double-homicide victims say after man charged
Garcia’s father, during a preliminary examination, testified that his son was allegedly concerned that Braden had a photo on her cellphone of Garcia holding a firearm, which would be a parole violation if discovered.
The trial for Garcia began on June 13, but was put on hold the week of June 20-24 after more than one juror tested positive for COVID-19.
Closing arguments happened earlier Monday, June 27 and the jury returned a verdict late in the day.
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