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SPARTA — A New Lisbon man charged in the fatal shooting of a Sparta man in 2016 will serve 36 years in prison.

Turner Wood, 24, also will serve 15 years on extended supervision, although he told a Monroe County judge during his sentencing on Friday that he was not the trigger man during the attempted robbery of Adam Garcia.

“I’m more than terribly sorry for the events that happened that day,” Wood said. “But I’m not the person who pulled the trigger that day. I didn’t kill Adam.”

Wood and Matthew Rasmussen, 24, entered 508 N. Water St. in Sparta about 7:30 a.m. May 17 wearing masks before Wood shot 27-year-old Adam Garcia in front of at least two other people, according to the complaint.

A witness told police Wood threatened to shoot Garcia again before ordering a woman out of the house and leaving the area.

Officers found Garcia shot in the chest. He died at a hospital.

The evening before, Wood said, he bought a half-ounce of methamphetamine and learned there was a $2,000 “payout” for whoever confronted Garcia with a gun. He admitted to buying the gun used to kill Garcia in exchange for meth and $50 at a gas station, the complaint stated.

The woman forced to the leave the house said she feared for her life and was later left at a mobile home in New Lisbon.

Wood pleaded no contest to felony murder and distribution of meth, both as party to the crime, and possession of a firearm by a felon, all as a repeat offender, and felony bail jumping.

Rasmussen is charged with felony murder as party to the crime, aiding a felon and bail jumping. His case is set for trial in October.

District Attorney Kevin Croninger recommended Wood serve 47 years in prison, which included the maximum sentence for felony murder.

“This was something that was thought out. It was planned,” he said. “The driving force behind Adam Garcia being shot by Turner Wood was for Turner Wood to prove he wasn’t a little man. He is a little man.”

In taking Garcia’s life, Wood stole a son, a father and a brother from his family, his mother wrote in a letter to the court. Two of Garcia’s brothers were emotional and angry when addressing Wood.

“Man, I really want to hurt you,” Eric Garcia said. “I hope you don’t get out.”

Wood’s father apologized to Garcia’s family, addressing the victim’s mother first.

“This is the hardest damn thing I’ve ever had to do in my life,” he said. “I’m sorry my son had anything to do with your loss.”

Wood told the judge that another man was responsible for Garcia’s death but apologized to the victim’s family.

Although attorneys disagree on the facts of the case, “the bottom line is that he has entered pleas accepting responsibly for what happened,” Circuit Judge Todd Ziegler said in pronouncing the 36-year sentence.

“I can’t justify anything less than that,” he said.

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Police and courts reporter

Anne Jungen covers law enforcement and the criminal justice system in La Crosse County. She joined the Tribune reporting staff in December 2005. You can contact her directly at ajungen@lacrossetribune.com or 608-791-8224.

(2) comments

YellowBee

I agree Bichon . The Judges in Lax don't know how hand out a sentence. Time to drain the swamp. I would throw my hat in the ring, but I guess you need a law degree, seems to me common sense would do the trick in most cases!!!!

BichonFrise

Now there is a smart Judge who knows how to sentence a crime. Wish La Crosse Judges did.

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