The Vineland Boys street gang member who shot and killed a Burbank (Calif.) Police Department officer during a traffic stop pleaded guilty to the crime Tuesday and was immediately sentenced to life in prison.
David A. Garcia, the man accused of killing Officer Matthew Pavelka in November 2003, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and other charges. Garcia, 28, will not be eligible for parole.
Garcia shot Pavelka, 26, in an exchange of gunfire during a routine stop outside the Ramada Inn. The officer had served 10 months on the force. Officer Pavelka's partner, Officer Gregory Campbell, was wounded as they approached a parked SUV where Garcia was a passenger. The officers suspected drug activity in the vehicle, reports the Burbank Leader.