Suspect Admits Stabbing Vanessa Pham in Trial Opening

Suspect's lawyer says his client was high on PCP and was hallucinating.

Vanessa Pham of Vienna was found stabbed to death in 2010. (Courtesy Photo)
Vanessa Pham of Vienna was found stabbed to death in 2010. (Courtesy Photo)
By Mary Stachyra Lopez

The suspect on trial for the murder of 19-year-old Vanessa Pham has admitted that he stabbed the aspiring fashion designer to death, but says the killing was not premeditated, the The Washington Post reported Monday.

Twenty-seven-year-old Blanco Garcia, of Falls Church, was hallucinating after he smoked PCP, his lawyer said in court.

The lawyer said that Garcia feared that Pham—who was giving him a ride to the hospital from a Fairfax County parking lot— would harm his daughter, so Garcia took a butcher knife and stabbed her, according to the Post.

 reporter Justin Jouvenal is live-tweeting the trial, which began Monday. 

Pham was a Madison High School student who had just finished her freshman year at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She was last seen at the Fairfax Plaza Shopping Center, where she visited a store and left the area in her car, according to Fairfax County police.

Authorities found her dead 30 minutes later after receiving a report of a crash near Arlington Boulevard and Williams Drive. The case went unsolved for over two and a half years. In December, Fairfax County Police arrested Garcia.

It was also revealed back in December that Blanco Garcia has been living in the U.S. illegally, and that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement placed a detainer on the suspect after he was arrested.

Rachel Hatzipanagos contributed to this report. 


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Richard Tammaro August 20, 2013 at 03:38 PM
Being high is not an excuse, why even bring it up? This crime was brutal, punishment should be likewise.


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