The sister of a Durango man who has been indicted in the shooting death of her husband was arrested Thursday on charges she lied to a grand jury during her testimony in the case.
Suzanne Garcia, 41, was arrested on eight counts of felony perjury based on her testimony, said Tonya Golbricht, a La Plata County Sheriffs investigator.
Garcia is free on $10,000 bond, Golbricht said.
Golbricht declined to discuss the specifics of Garcias testimony, but she said it appears Garcia was trying to protect her brother.
Its still under investigation, Golbricht said. There might be more (perjury charges), and possibly there could be other charges.
Suzanne Garcia is the sister of Joseph Dernoga, 38, who is serving five years in prison after pleading guilty to a firearms violation.
Suzanne Garcia is an administrative assistant at Park Elementary School.
Jane Schold, executive assistant to the superintendent in Durango School District 9-R, said the district follows the rule of the state board of education when an employee is arrested.
Schold cited regulation 1-CCR 301-38, which says districts must notify parents within 24 hours of a felony arrest of an employee. Notification may be by mail or sent electronically, she said.
Garcia graduated from Fort Lewis College in 2003 with a degree in English communications. She also was a cheerleading coach at FLC for years.
In 2000, Garcia stepped up as the Democratic candidate to challenge popular incumbent Mark Larson for his seat in the state Houses 59th District.
Dernoga is accused of using a .270-caliber rifle to shoot and kill Ted Garcia, 47, on July 23 or 24, 2010. The shooting occurred inside Garcias home in the 1000 block of County Road 206, just west of downtown Durango.
Garcia, the manager of Franciscos Restaurante y Cantina on Main Avenue, was found dead inside the house with a bullet wound in his upper torso. Authorities found a high-powered rifle in the kitchen/dining area near his body.
Dernoga, who lived in the basement, called 911 to report the death. A forensic examination of the rifle showed the wound was not self-inflicted.
La Plata County Coroner Dr. Carol Huser found that Garcia had a blood-alcohol level of 0.087 at death, above the legal 0.05 driving limit in Colorado. He also had a high dose of hydrocodone, a pain killer, in his bloodstream, she said.
Suzanne Garcia was in Baltimore caring for her father when her husband was killed.
Dernoga, who later was identified as a suspect, faces life in prison if convicted of killing his brother-in-law. District Attorney Todd Risberg has said he doesnt expect to seek the death penalty.
Dernoga also is accused of tampering with physical evidence, being a felon in possession of a weapon and being a habitual criminal offender.