Jury: Antolin Garcia-Torres guilty in Sierra LaMar kidnapping, murder case

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The jury has reached a verdict in the capital murder case against Antolin Garcia-Torres, who is accused of killing Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar. (KGO-TV)

More than five years after the disappearance of 15-year-old Sierra LaMar, a jury has found her accused killer guilty in the kidnapping and murder of the Morgan Hill teen.

WATCH LIVE: ABC7 coverage of verdict in Sierra LaMar case

Family and friends of both LaMar and Antolin Garcia-Torres, who pleaded not guilty to the murder charge, gathered in the Santa Clara County Courthouse Tuesday tensely awaiting the verdict.

Garcia-Torres faced four felony counts: count 1 for the murder and kidnap of Sierra LaMar, and three additional counts for the attempted kidnapping of three adult women in the parking lots of two Safeway stores in Morgan Hill, where Garcia-Torres once worked.

Jurors found Garcia-Torres guilty on all four counts.

Sentencing, which could include the death penalty, will begin May 16.

Deliberations among the jury of six women and six men lasted the equivalent of two days. Judge Vanessa Zecher turned the case over to them May 4, after three months of testimony and arguments.

The defense also criticized investigators for not pursing all leads, including a brown car that was seen near the spot where LaMar may have disappeared.
TIMELINE: Sierra LaMar kidnapping, murder case

The defense attorney concluded by saying: "Where's the evidence she's deceased? She is missing and nothing else."

Garcia-Torres faced four felony counts: count 1 for the murder and kidnap of Sierra LaMar, and three additional counts for the attempted kidnapping of three adult women in the parking lots of two Safeway stores in Morgan Hill, where Garcia-Torres once worked.

RELATED: Sierra LaMar murder trial focus turns to DNA evidence

LaMar's family has been waiting five years for justice. She disappeared the morning of March 16, 2012, as she walked to the bus, and hasn't been seen or heard from since.

While no body, no crime scene and no murder weapon has ever been found, the prosecution relied on DNA evidence to connect Garcia-Torres, 26, to LaMar's disappearance. The teen's clothing and cell phone were found discarded near her family's home in the days after.
RELATED: Defense wraps up closing arguments in Sierra LaMar murder trial

The prosecution said Garcia-Torres' DNA was found on Sierra's jeans, and her DNA was found on an armrest in the defendant's red VW Jetta. In addition to that, a rope was also found in the trunk that the prosecution said had Sierra's hair. The defense, however, said the DNA evidence was flawed

Click here for full coverage on Sierra LaMar and click here to follow David Louie for the very latest updates live from the courthouse.

ABC7 News will bring you live coverage on TV and online after the verdict is announced. Click here to download the ABC7 News app for free. And be sure to enable push alerts to be the first to know about breaking news.


Related Topics:
sierra lamartrialmurdermurder mysteryjury dutycourtcourt casemissing personmissing girlDNAinvestigationsanta clara countycaliforniaSan JoseMorgan Hill
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