SANTA CLARA COUNTY (KRON) — After months of delays, the trial of Antolin Garcia-Torres who has been charged with the kidnapping and killing Sierra LaMar will begin Monday.
LaMar was 15 years old when she disappeared while on her way to catch the bus to school in Morgan Hill on March 16, 2012.
Garcia-Torres, now 25, is accused of kidnapping and killing LaMar. Her body was never found.
The teenager’s cellphone was found in a field south of San Jose and her purse and clothes were found two days after she went missing.
Garcia-Torres was arrested in May 2012 after Sierra’s DNA was found in his red Volkswagen Jetta.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Garcia-Torres, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The defense for Garcia-Torres plans to argue that this is a missing person case. In October 2016, lawyers for Torres asked the court to allow evidence they say will show that LaMar ran away from home.
The defendant is also facing charges of the attempted kidnapping of three other women in the area.
A Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge denied a motion brought by Garcia-Torres to hold separate trials on charges surrounding LaMar’s disappearance from the attempted kidnappings outside Morgan Hill Safeway grocery stores in March 2009.
Opening statements will begin Monday at 9 a.m., according to court officials. Seven men and five women will serve on the jury.
Stay with KRON4 News for continuing coverage of the trial