‘Essentially torture’: One of 6 people connected to Idaho man’s murder is sentenced

Maria Vasquez Black /Courtesy
·5 min read

In November 2021, a 22-year-old Nampa man was kidnapped and killed, allegedly by multiple people.

One defendant in that case, another 22-year-old man, has now been sentenced in Luis Garcia’s murder.

Third District Judge Davis VanderVelde on Wednesday sentenced Sergio Jimenez — who kicked Garcia in the head with steel-toe boots — to spend up to 30 years in prison, but Jimenez could be eligible for parole after just nine years.

Jimenez pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in May, according to online court records. He was initially charged with murder, first-degree kidnapping and destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence, but the other charges were dismissed as part of a plea deal.

“It doesn’t matter what I say today, it’s not going to bring Luis back,” Garcia’s father, Pedro Garcia, said in court, looking directly at Jimenez. “But I just want to say for you to see God and get forgiveness for yourself.”

Garcia was found “unresponsive” in the driveway of a Caldwell home on Nov. 6, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by the Idaho Statesman. He was repeatedly beaten with a golf club and stabbed on Nov. 5.

Garcia was taken to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, according to the affidavit, which was written by Nampa Police Department Detective Christopher Davenport. Garcia was “not expected to live” and died on Nov. 10.

“Given the circumstances, I’ll never know exactly what happened with respect to Mr. Garcia and you and the others involved, as far as previously how he died or what specifically killed him,” VanderVelde said in court. “What I do know is that you did participate in what was essentially torture and his murder.”

Five other people connected to Garcia’s death

Authorities said they have connected six people to the death of Garcia. Two of the suspects — Jose Luis Buenrostro and Simon Sarmiento — still have warrants out for their arrest, the Nampa Police Department told the Statesman by email in late June.

Both Buenrostro and Simon Sarmiento are wanted for murder, kidnapping and destruction of evidence, according to a Facebook post from Nampa PD.

Tomas Pina Sarmiento, 25, pleaded guilty to kidnapping in the second degree in exchange for two felony charges — first-degree murder and destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence — to be dropped. He has a hearing set for Aug. 29.

Sean Anthony Tambini, 29, was arrested by Nampa police on Monday. He’s been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping for ransom, according to Canyon County jail records.

Tambini was in custody on unrelated charges in Nevada before he was extradited to Canyon County, Nampa Police Cpl. Jason Jones told the Statesman. According to court documents, the Canyon County charges were filed on April 13, 2022, and Tambini is being held without bail.

Another defendant, 29-year-old Priscilla M Hernandez, has been charged with four counts of harboring or protecting a felon. Hernandez allegedly hid or concealed bedding, ropes, clothing and/or human blood knowing that Tomas Sarmiento, Simon Sarmiento, Buenrostro and Jimenez allegedly killed Garcia, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Statesman.

Hernandez has a jury trial scheduled for Nov. 15, according to online court records.

Nampa Police Department affidavits detail Garcia’s death

Sometime after 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 5, Garcia’s family reported him missing, according to the affidavit. Garcia’s father told Nampa police that his son had been kidnapped and that the people who had him were asking for $2,000.

At 8:57 p.m. Garcia called his father asking for money. This prompted his father to see multiple text messages from Garcia between 8:30 p.m. and 8:57 p.m. asking for money.

Garcia called his father for the second time at 8:58 p.m. and said he “needed money and that he was in trouble,” the affidavit said. At that point, the phone was taken out of Garcia’s hand, and an unidentified male told Garcia’s father that “if he did not give them the $2,000, something bad would happen to Luis,” the affidavit said.

“Unfortunately, those threats were carried out,” a Canyon County prosecutor said in court Wednesday. “Luis was tortured ... he was not only kicked and punched and beaten with golf clubs, he was also stabbed and sliced with a knife.”

Garcia had been taken to a residence at 63 S. Sugar Street in Nampa, where he was beaten, the affidavit said. An eyewitness told authorities that Garcia had his hands tied behind his back and his ankles bound, and one of the men was seen hitting Garcia with a golf club.

Garcia was found at 8:36 a.m. the next day in the driveway of 1402 Boise Ave. in Caldwell, the affidavit said.

Ada County Coroner’s Office Chief Forensic Pathologist Garth Warren completed the autopsy on Garcia, according to Davenport’s affidavit. Garcia died of blunt force trauma to the head and sustained multiple other injuries: two long lacerations to his abdomen, a cut to his lower left leg, a large laceration above his left eye and a puncture wound through his left ear, the affidavit said.

Garcia also had several bruises on his back and neck.

The affidavit said Warren “mentioned the word torture to describe what happened to Luis.”

Reporter Catherine Odom contributed to this story.