A 27-year-old Oil City woman, charged in the stabbing death of her live-in boyfriend, told Associate District Judge Lee Card Thursday she was guilty of the crime.


A 27-year-old Oil City woman, charged in the stabbing death of her live-in boyfriend, told Associate District Judge Lee Card Thursday she was guilty of the crime.


Katie Garcia, slated to stand trial in June for the Nov. 6, 2007 death of 21-year-old Loyd W. McDowell, opted to enter her guilty plea rather than chance a Carter County jury’s verdict.


Thursday was Garcia’s second shot at entering a plea to the first-degree manslaughter charge. Earlier this month she appeared in court in what was expected to be a plea hearing. Instead she backed out of the plea bargain prosecutors offered her, telling the court she wanted a trial.


Garcia apparently had reconsidered her options again when she appeared in court Thursday with her attorney, Eric Jones. She exchanged her guilty plea for the terms of the plea bargain, which included a 15-year sentence, with 10 years suspended, and restitution to McDowell’s family for the costs of his funeral.


“She’ll do five years in (prison) and the other 10 out,” District Attorney Craig Ladd said following Garcia’s brief court appearance.


Ladd said McDowell’s family was in favor of the plea bargain his office had offered Garcia.


“I had consulted with the family on a number of occasions, the last being Wednesday. They were in agreement with the plea bargain. Our sympathies are with the McDowell family and we hope the action in court today will give them some closure and peace.”


Ladd praised the Carter County Sheriff’s Department for the investigative work on the case.


“The sheriff’s department did an outstanding job, particularly Deputy Matt Dunn and Deputy Rick Reynolds, who conducted an extensive investigation. We appreciate their efforts,” Ladd said.


Deputies had been called to Garcia’s Cimarron Road residence shortly after she had stabbed McDowell in the chest. McDowell was dead when investigators arrived and began a probe into what appeared to be a domestic disturbance that had escalated into violence.


Garcia was immediately arrested but the charge she faced initially was the result of an unrelated incident. Lawmen said the woman was wanted on an outstanding warrant issued when she failed to appear in court on a child custody issue. At the time Garcia was arrested, Ladd said he was reserving a decision on whether to charge her with her boyfriend’s death based on the investigation.


Garcia remained jailed as the deputies worked to unravel the evidence surrounding McDowell’s death. Five weeks later Dunn and Reynolds presented their reports to Ladd and on Dec. 12, prosecutors filed the first-degree manslaughter charge against Garcia. While the charge alleged the stabbing was “in the heat of passion and without a design to effect death,” it described the slaying as “neither excusable or justifiable.” Bond was set at $500,000.


Unable to post bond, Garcia had remained behind bars pending the outcome of her case. Thursday she was returned to the custody of the sheriff to await transfer to a state women’s prison facility.