Getaway driver pleads guilty in Heidy Villanueva case

Edward Garcia to be sentenced March 7; 3 others charged in girl's death

Edward Garcia appears in a Duval County courtroom after pleading guilty
Edward Garcia appears in a Duval County courtroom after pleading guilty

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One of four men charged in connection with the murder of 7-year-old Heidy Villanueva has pleaded guilty, according to Duval County court records.

Court records show Edward Garcia, 28, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to a first-degree felony. A sentencing hearing in the case was originally set for Thursday but pushed back to March 7.

Heidy and her family were caught in the crossfire of an Aug. 11 shootout that unfolded in the parking lot of a Westside strip mall after a botched robbery, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Heidy, who was shot in the head, did not survive.

Police said Abrion Price and Trevonte Phoenix arranged a gun sale nearby, but they actually planned to rob the buyer. They ended up trading gunfire with Stanley Harris, a friend of the buyer, police said.

According to police, Garcia’s involvement was showing up at the scene to pick up Price and Phoenix as the gun battle played out. His mother’s vehicle was struck by gunfire during the shooting.

His mother, Kezia Holmes, is charged with evidence tampering. She’s accused of taking the vehicle to a repair shop to get the windshield replaced, despite knowing it was involved in a crime.

Price and Phoenix are charged with felony murder. Harris faces a third-degree murder charge. All three have pleaded not guilty and their cases are still pending.