By Dorrin Akbari
SACRAMENTO, CA — Defense attorney Kenneth Rosenfeld looked on helplessly as his client, Martin Raymond Lackey-Garcia, admitted to killing two and wounding two others in a knife rampage at a Carmichael treatment center.
Lackey-Garcia insisted on testifying during his preliminary hearing on Friday in Sacramento County Superior Court Dept. 25 despite Rosenfeld and Judge Donald Currier’s warnings that doing so could be damaging to his case.
That was neither the first nor the last time that the defendant would go against Rosenfeld and Currier’s recommendations that day.
Lackey-Garcia—surrounded by security personnel—sat across from Deputy District Attorney Caroline Park at the counsel’s table in court. Judge Currier read the charges against him: two felony counts of murder in the deaths of Eileen Stanwick and Paul McIntyre along with two felony counts of attempted murder.
The first item on the court’s agenda was the Lackey-Garcia’s Faretta motion, which a criminal defendant may file to represent himself.
“Mr. Lackey-Garcia, is it true that you want to represent yourself instead of having a court-appointed lawyer? You’re charged with very serious crimes, and it would be contrary to your best interest to refuse your lawyer,” cautioned Judge Currier.
“My experience with lawyers is that they work with each other. It isn’t in their best interest to defend me. I’m just a number. I’m just an ATM card,” said Lackey-Garcia.
As he made his way through the prerequisite questions for filing his motion with Judge Currier, Lackey-Garcia conceded that he was not presently prepared to represent himself at the preliminary hearing.
He placed the blame on his court-appointed attorney, stating that Rosenfeld hadn’t reviewed his case’s discovery with him despite promises to do so.
“There have been COVID challenges without question around going to the jail…since my client was found competent,” admitted Rosenfeld, “My client suffers from bipolar disorder. He has paranoid delusions. He has antisocial personality disorder, and he has had sleep deprivation to some extent. We’ve done our work on our part. We’re prepared to go forward with the [preliminary hearing].”
Again, Judge Currier advised Lackey-Garcia that it would be in his best interest to retain Rosenfeld as his attorney, at least for the duration of the hearing.
“I’ll let you represent yourself because it’s a constitutional right that you have, but just because you’re exercising a constitutional right doesn’t mean you’re exercising it wisely. You know it’s not wise because you’re not prepared,” said Currier.
Lackey-Garcia implored the court to delay his hearing to allow him to prepare to represent himself. Judge Currier flatly rejected the request, noting the defendant could have filed his motion before his hearing date if he wanted time to prepare.
“I can’t get anything done—I’m trapped. I’m trying to do the best that I can. I just need a little consideration given that my life is on the line here,” lamented Lackey-Garcia before ultimately withdrawing his Faretta motion.
With the motion issue resolved, DDA Park began calling the prosecution’s witnesses to the stand. Four detectives and one civilian witness provided testimony that painted a picture of the events that transpired the afternoon of Feb. 28, 2020, when the defendant allegedly attacked four employees at The Wellness and Recovery Center.
First on the stand was the civilian witness, who strode through the courtroom with his cowboy hat in hand. A client at the center, the witness had been standing outside of the building when Lackey-Garcia allegedly began his attack.
Having heard the “distressed scream” of one victim and seen another victim running “with his hand slashed open like a Pez dispenser with a hanging thumb,” the witness had run toward the center and ultimately chased after Lackey-Garcia until police arrived on the scene.
He testified to having seen Lackey-Garcia drop his bloodied knife in a storm drain during the chase. The witness later recovered the knife from the drain and presented it to the police following Lackey-Garcia’s arrest.
Another witness had later reported to detectives that he’d seen “a cowboy” chasing the defendant after his knife rampage.
The four detectives for their part described a bloody crime scene and heartbreaking testimony from the two survivors of the attack.
On Feb. 24, 2020, Lackey-Garcia had made an appointment at The Wellness and Recovery Center. The employee with whom he met had determined that he was not a good fit for the center’s services.
Lackey-Garcia returned four days later without an appointment to see the same center employee, who reported he was “yelling and not making sense.” She emailed her co-workers for assistance: “Help…Please help.”
Two co-workers arrived at the employee’s office. One escorted her out and away from Lackey-Garcia. The other co-worker, Eileen Stanwick, stayed behind with the defendant.
Grabbing the knife he had concealed under his waistband, Lackey-Garcia began stabbing her—repeatedly. Stanwick died at the scene as a result of the multiple stab wounds sustained across her body.
One of the surviving victims had heard Stanwick’s screams during the initial attack and had tried to pull the defendant off of Stanwick. Lackey-Garcia stabbed her in the head during the altercation, leading her to collapse.
The defendant left the office as the victim cried out for help on the floor. Her co-worker, Paul McIntyre—blind and using a cane to assist himself when walking—attempted to come to her aid. He closed the office door to protect the two of them.
Seeing McIntyre enter the office, Lackey-Garcia returned and stabbed him in the chest. McIntyre’s lung was punctured in the process. He died at the scene after collapsing onto the surviving victim.
With no one left inside to help her, the surviving victim attempted to get to the other side of the clinic. As the blood rushed from the stab wound to her head, she pleaded to anyone who could hear her, “Please, I don’t want to die.”
She ultimately recovered from the attack after being found at the scene and sent to a hospital for care.
Meanwhile, the other surviving victim was attempting to lead Lackey-Garcia away from the center’s other employees. He was being chased by the defendant.
When the victim briefly fell to the ground during the pursuit, Lackey-Garcia stabbed him multiple times. The incident was captured on video.
The second surviving victim suffered from stab wounds to his back, arm, and elbow. He was also found by police at the scene and hospitalized.
As detectives Lauren Milton, Robert Peters, Alex Zakrzewski, and Neal Clanton gave their testimony, Lackey-Garcia grew noticeably more irate—interrupting DDA Park’s questioning with several outbursts before security personnel moved his microphone.
Upon hearing that Rosenfeld didn’t plan to call any witnesses for the defense, Lackey-Garcia demanded he be allowed to take the stand.
“Your Honor, I just want to make a very clear record that this is absolutely against my legal advice. This is going to cause harm to the case. If he starts to admit to acts that are not lawful in the testimony, I’ll have to tell the court. That’ll have to go on camera,” said Rosenfeld.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” replied Judge Currier.
It did not take long to get there. Within the first minute of Rosenfeld’s questioning, Lackey-Garcia admitted to all charges:
“Did you use a knife and kill two people?” asked Rosenfeld.
“Yes, I did,” replied Lackey-Garcia as Rosenfeld shook his head.
“Did you attempt to injure others?”
“Do you remember doing this?”
“Were you under the influence of drugs or alcohol?”
Lackey-Garcia later admitted to either attacking or killing each victim by name during DDA Park’s cross-examination.
The defendant’s trial has been set for May 24.
Lackey-Garcia expressed a desire to represent himself at trial but said he would not file a Faretta motion. Judge Currier reappointed Rosenfeld as Lackey-Garcia’s counsel for the trial, given Lackey-Garcia’s refusal to file.
Rosenfeld informed the court he intends to mount a not guilty by reason of insanity plea on behalf of the defendant. Lackey-Garcia must consent to that plea.
He refused to do so.
Dorrin Akbari graduated from UC Berkeley in 2019 with a B.A. in Legal Studies and a minor in Persian. She is from San Jose, CA.
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