Garcia-Torres defense: ‘No evidence Sierra LaMar was killed’


SAN JOSE (KRON) — It is Day 2 of the murder trial against Antolin Garcia-Torres, the man accused of murdering Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar.

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.

Monday marked the first day of the trial.

In the first day, opening statements were made.

The jury heard the emotional 911 call, made by Sierra’s mother Marlene, on the day Sierra went missing.

THE LATEST: Sierra LaMar murder trial

The six men and six women who make up the jury were also shown the photo of the last time LaMar was seen alive.

Day two is now underway, and KRON4’s Rob Fladeboe is present in court to document the latest updates.

Around 9:30 a.m., the jury was informed of previous alleged attacks on women by Garcia-Torres.

This includes incidents where the defendant allegedly used a stun gun to attack women in the lot of a Morgan Hill Safeway.

At 10:00 a.m., the jury was shown a video of Garcia-Torres being interviewed by police about the finding of LaMar’s DNA in his red Volkswagen Jetta.

The footage shows him telling the officers that he “masturbates in his car.”

Prosecutors have said that Garcia-Torres, described as an avid outdoorsman, had the outdoor knowledge to hide Sierra’s body in any number of remote locations.

“If she’s taken somewhere in the wilderness, where did the glass beads come from?” Lopez asked.

When the defense began their opening statements, they asked that the jury be ‘open minded.’

They argued that there is “no evidence Sierra was killed,” and that there is also a “lack of evidence” supporting his alleged prior attacks on other women.

The defense went on to insist that the prosecution’s forensic evidence was flawed in the way it was gathered and analyzed.

“The complete picture is this is not gold-standard DNA. It’s background DNA,” said defense attorney Al Lopez. “What they’re presenting to you is not reliable. It doesn’t prove who, how or when.”

Soon after, the jury was shown evidence that was found in Garcia-Torres’ trunk. A piece of LaMar’s hair was reportedly found on a rope in his car.

The defense responded by claiming that the hair that was not there when the rope was found, and posed the question to the jury, “Where did it come from?”

Lopez warned jurors about “shaming evidence” provided to distract and create bias against the defendant without proving the defendant’s culpability in crimes as charged.

“You’re not going to hear any evidence that she was killed,” Lopez said. “Absolutely none.”

After the defense was hammering away at the forensic evidence during opening statements, the defense said to the jury the government will be destroyed.

Opening arguments concluded around 2 p.m. on Tuesday. A sheriff’s deputy was the first person to take the stand.

Stay with KRON4 for updates on today’s hearing. We will be updating this story as we learn new information.

See compilation of Rob Fladeboe’s live Twitter updates from the courtroom: 

Sierra LaMar murder trial Day 2 in tweets

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