A Shepherd man charged in the New Year’s Eve death of a Glasgow woman has admitted to her killing under a plea agreement that calls for 70 years in prison.

Jay Witkowski, 29, changed his plea Wednesday in the 17th Judicial District Court in Glasgow for deliberate homicide in the killing of 31-year-old Evelynn Garcia. The case was set to go to trial Aug. 21.

Investigators determined that Garcia was stabbed inside Witkowski's car. She was able to get out of the car at some point and left a blood trail on the pavement. Investigators said Witkowski hit Garcia with a tire iron before hitting her with the car, according to court documents.

Garcia died days after she was found on New Year's Eve 2016 on the side of the road, unconscious and left in the snow.

Two witnesses found her and called the sheriff's office. They told deputies that they saw a car "hauling ass" away from the scene, according to court documents.

An autopsy found stab wounds on Garcia’s arm, hand, throat and chest, as well as evidence of a strong blow to the back of her head that fractured her skull, documents state.

Sheriff's deputies interviewing Witkowski at a Glasgow home saw him with blood on his clothes and hands.

Investigators found Witkowski's car with a broken windshield and blood on the front end, hood, roof, trunk and passenger side. There was "substantial" blood inside the car, as well as a bloody tire iron, charges state.

Witkowski originally told law enforcement he and Garcia were driving in Glasgow on New Year's Eve and stopped for a train just outside of town. He said that he'd been up for a day and a half after using meth. 

Witkowski claimed that two men from the truck in front of him got out and held him up at knife-point, charges state. He said that he wrestled the knife away during a scuffle. While escaping in his vehicle, he claimed that he "got her out of the car," referring to Garcia.

Witkowski told deputies he hit somebody with the car after Garcia got out.

In the investigation, deputies got video footage from a train that passed through the area at the time of the incident, just before witnesses found Garcia. The footage showed a car that looked like the one Witkowski was driving, but there was no truck as Witkowski described, charges state.

There was no evidence of a scuffle at the train tracks, according to the charges. Witkowski was not injured that night.

The plea agreement also calls for a 10-year prison term for the use of a dangerous weapon. That’s to run consecutively to the 70 years for deliberate homicide.

Sentencing is set for Oct. 2.


Justice Reporter

Justice reporter for the Billings Gazette.