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Fabian Cerda
Fabian Cerda. GunMemeorial.org

A man who fatally shot his ex-girlfriend’s 21-year-old son in El Cajon, then took part in a standoff with police at a La Mesa hotel, was sentenced Thursday to 35 years to life in state prison.

George Louis Garcia, 44, pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder count stemming from the Aug. 18, 2020, slaying of Fabian Cerda. He also pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of another man, which prosecutors say happened two days after Cerda was killed.

Cerda was shot on Main Street during an argument, then died en route to a hospital, according to El Cajon police.

The motive for the killing remains unknown.

At his sentencing hearing, Garcia told Cerda’s family and friends in attendance, “I wish I had the answers to tell you guys why. Why it happened. But I can’t even answer that myself. … I hate myself for what I did.”

After the shooting, prosecutors alleged Garcia told the victim’s mother that “she would see him in the news.”

On Aug. 24, 2020, Garcia took part in a two-hour standoff in his car with police in the parking lot of the Best Western Plus La Mesa hotel on Murray Drive. During the standoff, he threw two guns out of his car and surrendered. During Garcia’s arraignment, a prosecutor said one of those guns was the murder weapon.

City News Service contributed to this article.

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Ellen Bullock