WATCH LIVE: The injury to a child trial of Daniel Garcia Day 1

KSAT will live stream court proceedings beginning Tuesday, May 21

. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – The high-profile case of a man accused in the death of a 5-year-old boy will be tried in a Bexar County courtroom beginning Tuesday.

Daniel Garcia is accused of fatally beating Domenic Aguilar-Acevedo in July 2021.

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At the time of Domenic’s death, Garcia was dating his mother, Nickolle Aguilar, who is also charged in this case.

Garcia was originally charged with murder but prosecutors are taking him to trial on a charge of injury to a child causing serious bodily injury.

Like a murder charge, injury to a child is a first-degree felony and the punishment range is the same, but the jury could consider probation if the defendant is found guilty. Probation is not an option for a conviction on a murder charge.

KSAT 12 will be livestreaming Garcia’s trial on, KSAT Plus and KSAT’s YouTube channel.

Alleged abuse precedes couple burying Domenic in Colorado ravine

Details in this section about the alleged abuse are disturbing.

(Left) Daniel Garcia, 26, and the boy’s mother, Nickolle Christina Aguilar, 25, both face a felony charge of injury to a child causing serious bodily injury-death. (Palm Beach County/Miami-Dade County Sheriff's Offices)

On July 24, 2021, Nickolle Aguilar told authorities while they were at an extended stay hotel in the 6900 block of Interstate 35 North, Garcia struck Domenic with so much force that he bounced off the wall and hit the floor, an affidavit states.

The boy vomited a black and brown liquid after the abuse started in San Antonio, the affidavit states.

The couple left the hotel days before their scheduled departure and did not properly check out, records show.

The affidavit states that surveillance footage from the hotel shows Garcia carrying what appeared to be a lifeless body out of the hotel room.

Aguilar said she didn’t report the abuse because she was “too eager” to be in a relationship with Garcia, records show.

When asked why they didn’t report the boy’s death, she responded that the couple was worried about losing custody of their other children.

Aguilar said she and Garcia then drove to Colorado the next morning with the body and camped near Rocky Mountain State Park, records show.

The couple then buried Domenic’s body in a remote location near the campsite and fled by car to Mexico and eventually to Costa Rica.

Charges filed

Domenic was found dead on Aug. 25 in Fraser County, Colorado.

Garcia and Aguilar were later arrested in Florida.

Garcia was charged with murder and Aguilar with injury to a child causing serious bodily injury by omission.

They were extradited to Bexar County by the end of that summer.

Heading to trial

The case has been going through the judicial system for almost three years.

At first, the state and defense attorneys were having trouble getting evidence from the FBI.

The judge ordered both the state and defense to meet with federal investigators.

“This whole back and forth is just not going to work,” 226th District Court Judge Velia Meza said. “It’s going to take us five years to get to trial and that’s not happening on my watch.”

By 2024, Meza ordered the case to go to trial and the date for Garcia was set for May 21.

As for Aguilar, she eventually took a plea deal in exchange for her testimony. The maximum punishment she can get is 15 years.

KSAT’s live stream will begin on May 21 at around 10:30 am.

It’s important to note Judge Meza has made a special order and certain witness testimony will not be allowed to be streamed, including that of Acevedo-Aguilar’s young sister who may have witnessed his death.

You can watch the trial on, KSAT Plus and KSAT’s YouTube channel.

. (KSAT)

About the Authors

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.

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