Joplin convicted of murder in death of Ketchikan surgeon, romantic partner

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Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 5:35 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A Washington state man was convicted of multiple murder charges on Thursday after a jury found him guilty of murdering a former romantic partner over six years ago in Ketchikan.

According to the Department of Law, 38-year-old Jordan Joplin was convicted of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and first-degree theft in the 2017 death of Dr. Eric Garcia. An autopsy found the 58-year-old Ketchikan surgeon died from a fatal dose of liquid morphine morphine, methadone, lorazepam and diazepam.

“He killed Dr. Eric Garcia, a man who loved and trusted him, and he did it for money,” said Assistant Attorney General Erin McCarthy in her closing arguments.

Joplin told investigators that he had last seen Garcia on March 16 of 2017. The partners were together for several days in mid-March before Joplin returned to his home state.

When police conducted a welfare check on Garcia — prompted by a tip from Joplin — they found the doctor deceased.

Around the same time as Garcia’s death, Joplin loaded several expensive belongings from Garcia’s home, including electronics, a coin collection, jewelry, and an extensive collection of liquor priced at over $320,000.

“During the investigation, detectives discovered that prior to his arrival in Ketchikan on March 15, Joplin arranged for three shipping containers to be delivered to Dr. Garcia’s residence on March 17. Detectives discovered that when those containers arrived on the 17th, Joplin loaded them with more than 4,000 pounds of Dr. Garcia’s belongings, including the missing valuables and many of Dr. Garcia’s personal items, and shipped them to Joplin’s residence in Washington,” the Department of Law wrote.

Detectives also discovered “multiple transfers totaling over $30,000 that had been made from Dr. Garcia’s bank accounts to Joplin’s accounts between March 16 and 30,″ and Joplin cellphone video of an unconscious Garcia taken on March 17.

Joplin’s sentencing is slated for Oct. 5 and faces a possible sentence of between 30 and 101 years in prison.