While in prison, Townsend was indicted in April 2021 for murder with a gun specification and felonious assault. He fired a gun into a car full of people driven by Garcia-Tovar on July 23, 2018. He has been held in the Butler County Jail since January 2022 in lieu of a $500,000 bond.
Townsend entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter, a third-degree felony, with a one-year gun specification. He faces a maximum of four years in prison. Judge Greg Howard set sentencing for Nov. 15.
The plea comes less than a week after co-defendant Jordan Spain pleaded guilty to first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter with a three year gun specification. Spain was 14 when he fired into the car hitting Garcia-Tovar in the back of the head causing the fatal wound, according to prosecutors.
Howard set Spain’s sentencing for Nov. 1. He faces a maximum of 14 years in prison — a mandatory three years for using a gun in the offense and up to 11 years for involuntary manslaughter.
According to prosecutors, the fatal shooting was part of a drug deal and robbery plot.
Garcia-Tovar and three others drove to the 7500 block of Wildbranch Road in the Tyler’s Creek Townhomes for a drug deal, with the back seat passengers believing it would be a robbery of the people purchasing drugs. Prosecutor Brad Burress said one back seat passenger was carrying a gun that was inoperable.
Spain and others, including Townsend, approached the vehicle, there were words exchanged, and Spain and Townsend opened fire on the car.
Garcia-Tovar was driving away when she was hit in the head with a round fired by Spain’s 9mm firearm.
At the time of Garcia-Tovar’s death, Spain lived on Wildbranch Road, where the shooting occurred.