Michael Gaffney, 21, is charged with reckless manslaughter for allegedly killing a woman he choked during sex in a car

By KC Baker
November 18, 2019 12:31 PM

The 21-year-old New Jersey man accused of killing a woman by choking her during sex allegedly took a picture of her while she was naked and unconscious — and posted it to Snapchat before seeking help.

Michael Gaffney, 21, of Maywood, was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with reckless murder in connection with the death of Frances Veronica Garcia, 19, of Bloomingdale, after allegedly strangling her to death during sex in a parked car, say authorities.

An autopsy determined that her death was caused by compression injuries to her neck, multiple outlets including NJ.com reported at the time.

During a court appearance Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Margaret Foti read Gaffney’s Snapchat post aloud, which allegedly said, “Just f****ed this bitch. She passed out. I don’t know what to do,” the Daily Voice reports.

Based on the content of the post and a history of substance abuse, the judge refused to release Gaffney on bond, NJ.com reports.

Michael Gaffney, 21, of Maywood, New Jersey
Bergen County Prosecutor's Office

Gaffney and Garcia met through mutual friends and communicated over social media the week before they got together with friends on the night of Nov. 1, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by police and obtained by PEOPLE.

During the get-together in Hackensack, Garcia and Gaffney left the gathering to “hang out” in her car on the top level of a parking garage on Prospect Avenue, the affidavit says.

“The two engaged in sexual intercourse for approximately 20 minutes,” the affidavit notes.

The sex allegedly turned rough when Gaffney put his hands around her neck during sex, leaving her unconscious in the backseat of her car, according to the affidavit.

Instead of calling for help, Gaffney allegedly uploaded the picture of Garcia — with his callous message — onto Snapchat.

Gaffney then alerted his friends that Garcia wasn’t breathing.

A male friend went to the parking lot, where he saw that Garcia’s lips were purple and allegedly said he “could feel air coming out of her nose,” the affidavit says.

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At 2:14 a.m., Garcia was rushed to Hackensack University Medical Center.

She was pronounced dead shortly before 3 a.m., NJ.com reports.

The medical examiner also determined that Garcia had a blood-alcohol level of .256 — more than three times the legal limit for driving, according to the affidavit.

Gaffney is being held at the Bergen County Jail without bond.

“I just ask everyone to withhold judgment until all of the facts and evidence come in to allow us to try this case in the court of law instead of the court of public opinion,” Gaffney’s attorney, Adam Lustberg, tells PEOPLE.

Though multiple outlets reported that the autopsy showed Garcia died from “compression injuries to her neck,” which Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella also said in a statement, according to NJ.com, Lustberg tells PEOPLE he is waiting for the full autopsy report, “which is more detailed,” he says.

As of now, “there is a death certificate abstract which just lists the cause of death,” he says.

The Bergen County Coroner’s Office said it could not comment on the results. The Bergen County Public Information Office and the Bergen County prosecutor did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for information.