Prosecutor makes plea offer in Milford beating death

MILFORD — A local man accused of beating a housemate to death more than two years ago has until next month to decide whether to accept a plea deal in the case or take it to trial.

Ricky Garcia, 59, has been behind bars since his May 2019 arrest on a charge of first-degree manslaughter in connection with the death of 49-year-old Christopher Peckham at an Anderson Avenue property where the two lived along with several others.

According to an arrest warrant charging Garcia, Peckham’s sister, who also lived at the address, asked Garcia, another housemate, to remove her passed-out brother from the floor of her bedroom.

Garcia then allegedly punched and kicked Peckham repeatedly, dragged him out of the house, and left him to die there hours later as others barely took notice.

Residents of the house said the death was the culmination of a long-running, alcohol-fueled drama between Peckham and Garcia.

In an interview with police, Garcia allegedly told cops he kicked Peckham “no more than two times.”

“I stomped him,” police quoted Garcia telling them during an interview. “He was kicking at me and I dropped the hammer on him.”

Garcia appeared briefly in Superior Court Tuesday.

A prosecutor said the matter had appeared headed to trial but Garcia was given a plea offer to consider.

The terms: in exchange for a guilty plea to first-degree manslaughter, Garcia would receive an 18-year prison sentence to be suspended after he serves between eight and 12 years behind bars.

The prosecutor, Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Howard Stein, said he has been in touch with representatives of Peckham’s family, who opted not to speak during Tuesday’s court appearance, but could be heard if Garcia takes the deal.

Judge Peter Brown continued the case to Jan. 14 for Garcia to accept or reject the deal.

Outside the courthouse, Garcia’s lawyer, Christopher Duby, declined to comment.