Jordan Joplin convicted of Ketchikan doctor’s murder

    Assistant Attorney General Erin McCarthy and District Attorney Mark Clark prepare for the defense to begin closing arguments. Defendant Jordan Joplin in background. Photo is provided by the State of Alaska.

    Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - On Jun. 1, 2023, in Anchorage, a jury found Jordan Joplin guilty of murdering Dr. Eric Garcia using a fatal dose of liquid morphine.

    Joplin, 38, was convicted of murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, and theft in the first degree for the Mar. 2017 death of 58-year-old Garcia.

    “He killed Dr. Eric Garcia, a man who loved and trusted him, and he did it for money”, said Assistant Attorney General Erin McCarthy in her closing arguments.

    On Mar. 15, 2017, Joplin traveled from Washington State to Ketchikan to visit Dr. Eric Garcia, his friend and longtime romantic partner. 

    Joplin returned to his home in Washington on Mar. 17. 

    The following day, Mar. 18, Joplin called the Ketchikan Police Department and reported that he was expecting Dr. Garcia to come to Washington to visit him and was worried about Dr. Garcia because he had not arrived and Joplin had not heard from him.

    On Mar. 27, 2017, Joplin returned to Ketchikan and asked police to conduct a welfare check on Dr. Garcia. 

    Joplin let the police into Dr. Garcia’s home using Dr. Garcia’s keys, which he had. 

    He was also driving Dr. Garcia’s truck. 

    Joplin told police he had last seen Dr. Garcia on Mar. 16, 2017. 

    When police entered Dr. Garcia’s home, they found him deceased. 

    A later autopsy found that Dr. Garcia’s death was caused by the combined toxic effects of morphine, methadone, diazepam, and lorazepam.

    Detectives also discovered that many items were missing from Dr. Garcia’s home, including electronics, a valuable collection of coins, watches, and jewelry valued at over $50,000, and a collection of liquor valued at over $320,000. 

    The detectives also learned that the alarm system in the home had been disabled.

    During the investigation, detectives discovered that prior to his arrival in Ketchikan on Mar. 15, Joplin arranged for three shipping containers to be delivered to Dr. Garcia’s residence on Mar. 17. 

    Detectives discovered that when those containers arrived on Mar. 17, Joplin loaded them with more than 4,000 pounds of Dr. Garcia’s belongings, including the missing valuables and many of Dr. Garcia’s personal items, and shipped them to Joplin’s residence in Washington.  

    Detectives later found Dr. Garcia’s cell phone and wallet in Joplin’s residence in Washington. 

    They found multiple transfers totaling over $30,000 that had been made from Dr. Garcia’s bank accounts to Joplin’s accounts between Mar. 16 and 30. 

    On Joplin’s cell phone, detectives found a video taken on Mar. 17, 2017, of Dr. Garcia, who appeared to be unconscious. 

    The investigation determined that after that video was taken, later on the night of Mar. 17, Joplin used Dr. Garcia’s truck to drive to the airport to return to his Washington home. 

    The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Erin McCarthy and District Attorney Mark Clark.

    The Ketchikan Police Department conducted the investigation.

    Sentencing for Joplin is scheduled for Oct. 5, 2023, in front of Judge Wolverton.

    He may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of no less than 30 years and no more than 101 years.

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