March 4 2010; Victorville, Calif. Katie Tagle, the mother of murdered nine-month-old-baby Wyatt Garcia, went to Victorville court on Wednesday to see San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Robert Lemkau who in effect sentenced Baby Wyatt to death when he refused to listen to Tagle about the father’s threats of murder and then called Tagle a liar. On January 31, Baby Wyatt’s father, Stephen Garcia, shot to death Baby Wyatt after a police car chase in Twin Peaks and then shot himself in a murder-suicide- just as he had told Katie Tagle he would do. Judge Lemkau apologized to Tagle in a prepared two-minute statement.
Judge Lemkau is a month late with his apology. He had even refused to make a statement to the court about his refusal to grant a restraining order that would have prevented Stephen Garcia from being alone with Baby Wyatt. However, a month late might be okay if the apology were heartfelt rather than a simple bid, so it seems, to protect his campaign to retain his Superior Court seat come Election Day, June 8, 2009.
Katie Tagle was surprised when she came face to face with Judge Lemkau- she was the first to be called in his courtroom. A distraught Tagle described the brief meeting to the Victorville Daily Press, “He let me speak… and I wasn’t expecting it. There was extra security in the courthouse today and… I thought for sure he was going to have me thrown out. But he didn’t. He let me speak. I told him that I wished that he had listened to me. I wish that if he had, my son would still be here and that Stephen [Garcia] would have gotten the help he needed.” Tagle said she expressed to Judge Lemkau the hope that he will listen to every side in future cases- and to realize that not everybody’s lying.
Tagle said that in Lemkau’s prepared statement, Lemkau said ‘he was sorry and that it had affected him’. Lemkau told her that he had never meant to put a child in harm’s way. He told her that as a prosecutor for the SB County District Attorney, he had concentrated for thirteen years on crimes against children.
The apology statement did not mean much to Tagle, who said, “I just wish it wasn’t prepared. I just wish it was a little bit more heartfelt. ‘Cause he knew I was coming. He had time to prepare. I just wish it was something that came from him instead of something from and his superiors or peers.”
Katie Tagle is still emotionally devastated, naturally so, over the death of her baby Wyatt. So is her family and so is her four-year-old son Dakota from her previous marriage to Richard Tagle. Dakota does not understand what happened to his baby brother.
Tagle has gone into counseling; she has started therapy. Near tears and hugging herself while rubbing her arms, she said, “Just still in shock. I don’t think it’s really fully hit us all. So… we’re just trying to get through it. And everybody’s been by my side in both communities- Yucca Valley and Victorville have had my back along with other people that I’ve met on the Internet… and everybody else along the way… they just have been really helpful and just trying to get us heard.”
Judge Lemkau’s prepared apology has not struck a chord with Katie Tagle. It has not acted as a salve to her heartache. Rather, the clinical formal apology has chafed rather than helped to heal her bereavement over baby Wyatt Garcia. The only thing the apology may have done is to save Lemkau from the effects of the protest march against him on March 8. And also from being ousted from his seat by James Hosking, Deputy District Attorney. Unless the San Bernardino counties believe Judge Lemkau’s apology to be shallow, as Katie Tagle believes, and that he made the apology mainly out of political pressure to save his all-powerful seat in June.
For Judge Lemkau’s two-minute apology at the Victorville Courthouse, Katie Tagle wore the blue dress she had worn to Wyatt’s memorial service.
Psycho Dad Stephen Kills His & Katie Tagle’s Baby Wyatt Garcia & Himself;
Baby Wyatt Garcia- Judge Lemkau May Lose to James Hosking Over Murder of Katie Tagle Son;
Community Wants Judge Lemkau Out & Hosking in After Psycho Dad’s Murder of Baby Wyatt Garcia;
Lemkau Sacrificed Baby Wyatt to Psycho Dad; Protest March Says ‘Lemkau Must Go!’