Tahoe Man Faces 20 Years in Casino Killing

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A man who hid out in a hotel room at a Lake Tahoe casino before stabbing his estranged wife to death four months ago pleaded guilty to murder and faces up to 20 years in prison.

Ramiro Vasquez Galicia, 36, South Lake Tahoe, Calif., entered the plea on Monday before Douglas District Court Judge Michael Gibbons. Sentencing is set for June 4.

His estranged wife, Jazmin Gonzalez, 22, obtained a protective
order against Galicia in October, claiming he physically abused

Galicia had a friend rent a room on Nov. 19 at the Horizon Casino Resort in Stateline where Gonzalez worked. He then hid in the room and waited for her to come in and clean when he confronted her, investigators said.

Galicia told the judge Monday he stabbed Gonzalez with a knife and hit her with a hammer. He said the woman had the knife at one point and that he had taken the hammer with him to the hotel room not for use on Gonzalez but rather to use later for a bed repair.

He struck her with the hammer and stabbed her with the knife "after she had already done many things to me," Galicia said.

"And the thing that offended me the most was that she not only offended me personally, but then she started bringing our son into it," Galicia said.

Their son was 7 years old at the time of the murder and lived with Galicia's brother in Mexico.

Deputy District Attorney Mike McCormick described Gonzalez as Galicia's estranged wife. McCormick said a charge still is pending against Galicia's friend, Evan Garcia, 23, of South Lake Tahoe, for helping Galicia violate a restraining order by renting the hotel room.