VIDEO: Jury to return verdict in Sierra LaMar murder trial today at 9 a.m.

News

SAN JOSE (KRON) — The jury will announce a verdict in the Sierra LaMar murder trial Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Jurors in the Sierra LaMar murder trial have reached a verdict, Santa Clara County Superior Court officials announced Monday afternoon.

Antolin Garcia-Torres, 26, pleaded not guilty to the murder and to the attempted kidnappings of three women in Safeway parking lots in 2009.

Jury deliberations in the Sierra LaMar murder trial continued Monday after breaking over the weekend.

On March 16, 2012, 15-year-old Sierra disappeared early in the morning on a lonely rural road in Morgan Hill. She was headed to the school bus stop just a few minutes walk from her home.

Antolin Garcia-Torres, 26, could face the death penalty if convicted by the jurors who have spent the last three months hearing extensive witness testimony in the five-year-old case.

On Wednesday, Garcia-Torres’ defense attorney gave his closing argument in the San Jose courtroom following a seven-hour argument from the prosecutor that began Tuesday morning.

Legal expert Steven Clark tells KRON4’s Rob Fladeboe “the jury deliberation could take a long time because each piece of evidence has been scrutinized by experts and the jury is now going to have to evaluate that evidence.”

If Garcia-Torres is found guilty, the jurors will weigh the aggravating and mitigating factors and select between death and life without the possibility of parole.

Both sides would be allowed to present evidence during this phase of the trial.

Garcia-Torres was arrested on May 21, 2012, two months after Sierra went missing and after investigators found his DNA on her jeans, which were recovered near where she went missing outside Morgan Hill.

Sierra’s DNA was also found on an interior backseat door handle and on the outside of a pair of work gloves in Garcia-Torres’ 1998 red Volkswagen Jetta.

Defense attorneys for Garcia-Torres have alleged cross-contamination during the evidence collection process, pointing to sloppy techniques by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Crime Laboratory.

Garcia-Torres’ thumbprint was found on a 9-volt Duracell battery found in a stun gun that police found in the back of the car of one of the women who were nearly kidnapped and carjacked in 2009.

The defense has claimed that in Garcia-Torres’ job as a courtesy clerk at Safeway, he had a legitimate reason to have handled a battery if the pack had been opened before the store resold it.

Security footage shows Garcia-Torres’ Jetta leaving his home at the Maple Leaf RV Park at 7 a.m., about 15 minutes before Sierra would have left her house to catch the bus to school.

Garcia-Torres has said that he might have turned onto Palm Avenue, where Sierra would have been walking to the bus stop 7 miles from his RV park, on his way to go fishing that morning.

But in his closing argument, defense attorney Al Lopez played an animation that he said proved that, based on the evidence, Garcia-Torres would have passed through the Palm Avenue area three minutes before Sierra would have left her house.

KRON4’s Rob Fladeboe will have a live report on KRON4 News at 6 p.m.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsWHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON:

>> MORE TOP STORIES

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

Trending Stories

Latest News

More News