Crime & Courts

Washington state man sentenced to 99 years for killing Ketchikan doctor

A Washington state man was sentenced Tuesday to spend 99 years in prison after he was convicted of killing a Ketchikan doctor, then stealing his money and hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of his belongings.

Jordan Joplin, 38, was convicted by an Anchorage jury in June 2023 on charges of first- and second-degree murder and first-degree theft in the death of 58-year-old Dr. Eric Garcia. The trial was moved to Anchorage because of the publicity it received in Ketchikan.

Joplin was in a romantic relationship with Garcia and had known him for about six years, prosecutors said during the trial. He saw Garcia as “an easy mark” to manipulate and planned to kill him and steal from him, Assistant Attorney General Erin McCarthy wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

In March 2017, Joplin traveled from Washington to Ketchikan and poisoned Garcia in his home with the drugs morphine, methadone, diazepam and lorazepam before the men were scheduled to fly to Las Vegas, prosecutors said. Joplin returned to his Washington home a day after he’d arrived in Ketchikan and Garcia was found dead 10 days later, they said.

Nearly $40,000 was transferred to Joplin from Garcia’s checking account in the days surrounding his death, including transactions made after he died, according to prosecutors. Joplin also sent three shipping containers of Garcia’s belongings, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, to his home in Washington, they said.

Joplin repeatedly lied to investigators after Garcia’s death, McCarthy wrote in the memorandum. His actions “show a capacity for deceit and duplicity that is frankly bone-chilling,” she said.

During the trial, defense attorneys argued that Garcia was a generous man who was in love with Joplin and that he had knowingly consumed the morphine that caused his death, whether that result was intentional or not.


Garcia was a well-respected surgeon in Ketchikan, according to court testimony from his colleagues and friends. He was one of two surgeons at the community hospital and his loss affected the entire community, McCarthy wrote in the sentencing memorandum.

McCarthy asked Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton to sentence Joplin to serve the maximum sentence of 101 years. Deputy public defender Lars Johnson, who represented Joplin, asked he be sentenced to serve 50 years.

Wolverton on Tuesday sentenced Joplin to serve 99 years in prison for first-degree murder and theft, Alaska Department of Law spokeswoman Patty Sullivan said Wednesday. The second-degree murder charge merged with the first-degree count for sentencing, she said.

As of Wednesday, Joplin was in custody at the Ketchikan Correctional Center.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at