Talanoa Feinga’s family sat on a padded bench outside the jailhouse courtroom as first a victims’ assistant from the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, then a bailiff and, finally, a prosecutor, explained what they had just witnessed inside the courtroom.
This was an arraignment, they said. Formal charges of murder were read against Mario Junior Garcia, 19, the man accused of killing the 27-year-old husband and father of two. In two weeks’ time, on Aug. 24, a Sacramento Superior Court judge would hold a hearing to determine whether bail will be set for Garcia.
On Thursday, Garcia was being held without bail in a cell upstairs at Sacramento County Main Jail.
Soon after, the bailiff and prosecutor left and the extended Feinga family had become yet the latest members of an unenviable fraternity, a family in a courthouse whose loved one was the victim of a homicide.
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He touched so many lives out there. I’m so happy and grateful he was a part of such a magnificent love and family bond. God had bigger plans for him.
Chris Moran, brother of shooting victim Talanoa Feinga, 27
“They took a great man away from us,” Etika Feinga, Talanoa Feinga’s father, said as his daughter-in-law, Talanoa’s wife Melissa, stood by his side. “He was a great father, husband and son,” Etika said, tears in his eyes.
Sacramento police arrested Garcia, a neighbor, on Tuesday, suspected of firing the shots that killed Feinga outside Feinga’s Valley Hi home in the 8300 block of Anton Way.
Shortly after midnight Monday, Chris Moran woke to help his brother, who was already outside trying to have a vehicle – spillover from a loud party around the corner – moved from in front of his house.
They successfully navigated that with the aid of a few helpful party guests, but trouble was brewing, he said. Garcia emerged with an entourage of as many as 20 people, Moran said.
It wasn’t the first time, Moran said. Moran said they started having problems with loud parties at the Garcia house after they stopped seeing older relatives there.
They complained to police just weeks earlier of the gunshots that struck their home. Traci Trapani, a spokeswoman for the Sacramento Police Department, confirmed there were previous calls for service concerning the Garcia home, but citing the ongoing investigation she said she could not provide details.
Over the blaring music, Feinga and Garcia exchanged words. When Feinga, who was unarmed, walked toward Garcia, the teen fired three shots, Moran said.
Wednesday evening, more than a dozen of Feinga’s friends and family members mourned his passing at a gathering outside of the south Sacramento duplex he shared with his wife, children and brother.
A corner of the drought-dried lawn was turned into a sandy beach. Tiny umbrellas, sea shells, candles and flowers surrounded a picture of the beefy man of Tongan descent.
Moran said the outpouring of support has been uplifting.
“He touched so many lives out there. I’m so happy and grateful he was a part of such a magnificent love and family bond,” Moran said. “God had bigger plans for him.”