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Death Penalty Could be Sought For Sierra LaMar Suspected Killer

Antolin Garcia Torres' plea date is now scheduled for April 4.

The death penalty could be sought for Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar's suspected kidnapper and killer Antolin Garcia Torres, a county prosecutor said Wednesday.

"Death can be sought [in this case] but a decision to seek death has not been made," said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney David Boyd.

Boyd's comments came after a brief court hearing in Department 23 of the San Jose Hall of Justice where Garcia Torres' new plea hearing was set for 9 a.m. April 4.

Boyd said such a hearing will be preceded by a motion's hearing for subpoenaed records by Garcia Torres' attorneys on Feb. 20.

The prosecutor said he had agreed to file his response to their motion by the end of this week.

Every document being filed on the case is being posted online due to Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Richard Loftis Jr.'s order that all records in the case must be scanned and uploaded to the Santa Clara County Superior Court's website.

Garcia Torres, 21, was arrested May 21, 2012 and has sat incarcerated for more than eight months without entering a plea, but Boyd said such a delay in not unusual.

Sierra, who was 15 at the time, vanished the morning of March 16, 2012 on her way to Sobrato High School in Morgan Hill. Her body is still missing.

His DNA was found on the girl's clothing located in a field near her school bus stop and two miles away from her home. And Sierra's DNA was found in Garcia Torres' red Volkswagen Jetta.

Torres lived about seven miles from Sierra's home. In April of 2012, investigators seized the vehicle and submitted it to the crime lab for processing and analysis.

"When you're dealing with a case that involves a kidnapping and a murder and special circumstances where death can be sought this is quite common," he said.

Boyd said he believes Garcia Torres is guilty and wants to make sure he's held accountable for the crime.

If the death penalty is not sought and he's found guilty of the charges, he could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

If Boys seeks the death penalty, a trial could take longer to occur. If not, a trial could come sooner, he said.

Garcia Torres is also facing felony kidnap and carjacking charges related to three incidents in 2009 in Morgan Hill, where's he's from.

Tom Barrett, of Hollister, drove all the way to San Jose Wednesday to attend the hearing. He said he's been helping search for Sierra's body since she was reported missing.

"I'm one of her searchers," he said. "We're still looking for her."

Barrett said missing-children advocate Marc Klaas has worked hard to bring attention to the case and has been attending court proceedings.

About 40 people gather at Morgan Hill's Burnett Elementary School to search for the girl on Saturdays in South County, he added.

To read the statement of facts in the Sierra LaMar kidnapping and murder case, please see attached PDF.

Editor's Note: This article has been changed. An earlier version misquoted Tom Barrett, one of the searchers for Sierra LaMar. If there's anything else that seems amiss in this post, email sheila.sanchez@patch.com.

La Reina Coco February 08, 2013 at 09:12 PM
I too think of Sierra often and I'm always looking for updated information on her case. I hope that the suspect will save her family more grief and just come clean and tell them where she is so she can rest in peace and the family can have closure. This is just so sad, she was such a beautiful young lady, and I pray that her family will get through this and that everyone that has been searching for her to eventually find her to bring her home, and lay her to rest.
Concered Citizen March 01, 2013 at 07:26 AM
Is this still an active investigation? Are people still looking? I just feel like they are over looking some areas. Over thinking can stop a murder from being solved. Don't know why I feel that way. God Bless, I will be praying for closure.
Truth March 04, 2013 at 07:06 AM
They should give the death penalty to all kid nappers,child molesters, child murders,rapist I don't want to be mean but it's true why keep them in prison or jail and pay all this money for them to be there for such a horrible crime
Ethyleen Jones March 04, 2013 at 08:31 PM
I think he should get the death penalty, I think anyone who kills another should not be allowed to live, especially if it's a child. She was helpless,to fight him off. God bless ger family.
vegas lights March 06, 2013 at 08:44 AM
I feel he should suffer the rest of his life behind bars like the animal he is.....I do believe in the death penalty ....but something about it feels wrong because he wont get to suffer enough like I believe he should.......also why dose it take so long for any kind of justice to be done....the monster has been in jail for how long? ??and this poor family has to wait ...why?? This is so wrong ...people need to contact the public figure's ....the mayor...local congresses men .....something has to be done!!!!

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