ATLANTA – A man who blamed his children's fatal stabbings this week on their mother's boyfriend was charged on Saturday with killing the two boys and wounding another. Police in suburban Atlanta also dropped murder charges that had been brought against the boyfriend.
Gwinnett County police had found the father, Elvis Noe-Garcia, with stab wounds Wednesday outside the house near Lawrenceville where the dead boys were. The 23-year-old Noe-Garcia was not married to their mother and was involved in a dispute with her over custody of the children.
Police arrested Noe-Garcia Saturday morning and charged him with two counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault. Police did not know whether he had a lawyer.
Three-year-old Bradley Garcia and 1-year-old Edward Garcia were found stabbed to death in the home. Bradley's twin brother was hospitalized with stab wounds.
Police arrested 28-year-old Antonio Cardenas-Rico shortly after the attack and charged him with murder and assault, based on Noe-Garcia's accusations. But they quickly noticed discrepancies between Noe-Garcia's statement, the evidence and Cardenas-Rico's alibi.
After spending hours recreating the scene, examining the evidence and re-interviewing witnesses, police arrested Noe-Garcia.
Authorities have dropped the murder and assault charges against Cardenas-Rico, but he remains in custody on a charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Both Noe-Garcia and Cardenas-Rico are believed to be in the country illegally, police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said.
Cardenas-Rico's court-appointed lawyer Matt Crosby said Saturday that he doesn't believe police acted hastily in arresting his client.
"I think the Gwinnett County police acted appropriately with the information they had at the time," he said, adding that he was grateful to police and to Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter for acting quickly on information his client provided.
Police have said the children's mother and an older sister weren't home at the time of the attack and were later found unhurt.