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The former cellmate of Alan Champagne’s girlfriend testified on Monday morning about her involvement of the two murders.
Natalie Garcia, the past cellmate of Alan Champagne’s girlfriend Elise Garcia, appeared at Maricopa Superior Court to reveal information about Elise’s involvement in the murders. While spending time together in jail, Elise confessed to Natalie that she held the female victim hostage with a gun while Champagne left to get a box to put the two bodies in after he shot and killed the male victim. Elise told Natalie that he strangled the female victim to death so that there would be no witnesses.
On May 11, 2012 Natalie spoke to police about the information Elise reveled to her. When asked what her reasoning was to go to police, Natalie responded that she felt bad about the victims and especially felt bad about the girl. She also told the court that she thought by going to police she would have a better chance of getting her children back.
The defendant’s attorney, Gregory Parzych, asked if she received any money from Maricopa County by giving up this information to which Natalie responded no. However, Natalie is having her rent paid by Maricopa County to help ensure her safety.
Natalie told the court that Elise had given her two stories about the killings. The first was that she and Champagne buried the victims at a pig farm so that the evidence would be destroyed. The second was that they buried the victims in Champagne’s mother’s backyard. Natalie did not tell police about the location of the bodies during her interview with them in May 2012.
The defendant’s attorney also asked Natalie if Elise told her that the killings were an accident. Natalie said at first she thought it was an accident but as she learned more from Elise, she knew it was done intentionally. “It was a cold blooded murder. Later on as she was telling me about the story, I knew it wasn’t an accident,” Natalie said.
The prosecutor, Ellen Dahl, asked Natalie about her safety and if she was afraid of Champagne specifically to which she responded yes. During their time in jail together, Natalie gave Elise her brother’s contact information and they became pen pals. Natalie specified that she did this before she knew about Elise’s involvement in the murders and just wanted her brother to have someone to write to. After becoming friends with Natalie’s brother, Elise asked him for Natalie’s address. After her address was given out, Natalie feared for her life. “She asked for my address for a reason,” she said to the court.
The trial will continue Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m.