The state Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review the case against an Iraq war veteran who killed his girlfriend about a month after she gave birth to their daughter and then claimed that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Tymarc D. Warren was convicted in August 2013 of first-degree murder for the Jan. 8, 2011, attack on Eileen Elizabeth Garnreiter, who was stabbed and slashed 16 times inside their Lawndale home.
In a ruling last November, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there were errors in Warren’s trial at the Torrance courthouse.
The appellate court justices found that there was “overwhelming evidence of premeditation and deliberation.”
“Defendant punched Garnreiter in the eye, held her in a chokehold and manually strangled her before any stabbing took place. Defendant thus had overpowered Garnreiter and could have stopped his assault at any time,” the appeals court panel found in its 45-page ruling.
The justices noted that Warren told sheriff’s deputies when they arrived at the home that he had killed the 22-year-old woman because he had “hate” in his heart and that “the devil put it there.”
The panel concluded there was “strong evidence of defendant’s guilt of first-degree murder,” and that jurors were properly instructed on first-degree murder, second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Forensic experts testified that the aspiring international law student was stabbed, punched in the face and choked hard enough to cause blood bruises and hemorrhaging.
Warren said he couldn’t recall everything that happened, which his attorney, Louisa Pensanti, argued was because he was suffering from PTSD following his time in Iraq, a diagnosis supported by an expert witness for the defense. She argued that her client should be convicted of manslaughter, not murder.
Warren testified that he was trying to calm Garnreiter down when he grabbed her by the neck and choked her.
Deputy District Attorney Frank Dunnick countered that the attack was provoked because Garnreiter was planning to leave him — even posting her intentions on Facebook. Warren, a radio technician during his time in Iraq, heard the sounds of crashing mortars during his military service, but never came under fire, the prosecutor said.
Just before being sentenced to 26 years to life in state prison in December 2013, Warren turned to face his girlfriend’s family and friends and said he wished there was “a part of our judicial system where I can apologize to each and every one of you. … That this process comes so late is disturbing … I am sorry.”
He maintained that he was “never violent with Eileen.”
“… This one incident got out of control really fast,” he said, telling the victim’s family that he still loved the 22-year-old woman and urging them to take care of his young daughter, Lailah.
Garnreiter had been a starting player on the softball team at El Camino College in Torrance and a 4.0 GPA student who had been accepted for transfer to UCLA, according to www.eileensfoundation.org, which is run by the victim’s aunt, Cathy Johnson, in tribute to her niece.
— Wire reports
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