Shooting victim speaks on hearing for Cindy Garcia: Will Barton shot in head during crime spree

Cindy Garcia ordered to stand trial by judge

SAN DIEGO - The man who was shot in the head during a violent crime spree across San Diego told 10News that the troubled past of one of the suspects should not excuse her actions.

On Wednesday, a judge ruled that 18-year-old Cindy Garcia will stand trial for a series of crimes she allegedly committed with her 40-year-old boyfriend Phillip Hernandez.

Police say the duo's violent crime spree included shooting guns, lighting fires and attacking people.

Police say Garcia was there the night that Hernandez shot Will Barton in the back of the head.

Barton, who is in a wheelchair, is now at home recovering.

His wounds are still physically visible -- from the surgical cuts to his neck and the bullet hole in his throat.

Barton also temporarily wears a helmet until doctors can replace a missing part of his skull. Barton says he is improving every day.

"Even just weeks back, I couldn't even sit on the side of the bed without falling," says Barton. "But now I can sit on my couch long enough to watch a movie or two."

Barton's life changed in October when he was randomly shot at close-range in Hillcrest by Hernandez, a former firefighter who died in a gun battle with police. Barton was struck in the shoulder, throat and head.

Barton tells 10News that he is following the news coverage of the hearing for Garcia,  Hernandez's alleged accomplice.

"They talk about how she's going to maybe face life, which I think she deserves," he says. "I have a life sentence, you know. My body will never be the same again."

Garcia's defense lawyer claims that the Garcia's troubled past is to blame for her actions. She was reportedly kidnapped at 14 years old, taken to Mexico and forced into prostitution. Her lawyer says she was manipulated by Hernandez, a much older man.

Barton disagrees.

"It's totally a cop out. She made the decision to go with him and do all of the things that they did," he says.

The helmet Barton wears has a pistol sticker, which he says symbolizes what he's been through. If he gets the chance, he says he would like to tell Garcia about the pain that he's in.

"How they messed my whole life up, for a split-second evil decision, you know," he says.

Barton tells 10News he recently got a call from the District Attorney's office to go through another interview about the night of the shooting. He says he's happy to oblige.

Garcia will be back in court on March 22.

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