March 04, 2010 8:54 AM
Tomoya Shimura

VICTORVILLE • A judge who refused to grant a restraining order against a man who later killed his son then himself apologized on Wednesday to the mother for comments he made to her in court.

Judge Robert Lemkau had called Katie Tagle a liar when she tried to get a restraining order against her estranged boyfriend, Stephen Garcia, on January 21.

Ten days later law enforcement authorities found Garcia and the couple’s 9-month-old son Wyatt shot to death in a car in Twin Peaks in an apparent murder-suicide.

“I deeply apologize for my comments to you,” Lemkau told Tagle at a court hearing in Victorville regarding custody mediation over the child. Lemkau appeared to read from a prepared statement when he made his remarks to Tagle.

Lemkau continued his apology as Tagle, of Yucca Valley, listened with tears in her eyes and a photo of her deceased son Wyatt in front of her on the table. Tagle wore the same blue dress she wore to Wyatt’s memorial service.

Near the end of his two-minute speech, Lemkau said that he could not foresee at the time of the restraining order hearing what would happen.

Tagle petitioned Lemkau for a restraining order against Garcia, 25, of Pinon Hills. Lemkau denied the request although Tagle warned him that Garcia threatened to kill their son.

For the full story, read Thursday’s Daily Press. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755 or click here.

Tomoya Shimura may be reached at or (760) 955-5368.