Sierra LaMar: Prosecution urges death sentence while defense calls for mercy

Antolin Garcia-Torres enters the courtroom for his arraignment Thursday, May 24, 2012 at the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice in San Jose. He is facing a count of kidnapping and a count of murder in the disappearance of Sierra LaMar, the 15-year-old Morgan Hill girl who mysteriously disappeared March 16th while on her way to school at Sobrato High School. (Patrick Tehan/Staff)

By Tracey Kaplan | | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: May 16, 2017 at 10:32 am | UPDATED: May 17, 2017 at 12:46 pm

SAN JOSE — A prosecutor Tuesday urged the jury that convicted Antolin Garcia-Torres last week of killing missing Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar and attacking three other women to recommend the death penalty.

“This part of the trial is about justice,” deputy district attorney David Boyd told the jury in Santa Clara County Superior Court. “What is the one just verdict that answers for the unspeakable things the defendant did to her? … Death is the only fair and just verdict.”

Garcia-Torres’ attorney Brian Matthews, however, urged jurors to reach a “reasoned, moral” decision.

“This time you will consider not just the information, but also the man,” Matthews said. “His life is in your hands.”

Last week, the jury convicted Garcia-Torres, 26, of kidnapping and killing 15-year-old Sierra, who was on her way to her school bus stop in a rural community north of Morgan Hill when she vanished five years ago. Her body has not been found despite searches by more than 750 volunteers from around the Bay Area.

The jury, which reached a verdict in two days after a three-month trial, also convicted Garcia-Torres of attempting to kidnap three other women from Safeway parking lots in Morgan Hill in 2009.

Matthews urged jurors to consider that Garcia-Torres’ mother married his father when she was just 13, that he lived his early childhood in a shack on a field where his parents picked strawberries. Garcia-Torres’ father, Matthews said, drank all the time, yelled at his mother, beat her and choked her with her own waist-length long dark hair.

Garcia-Torres’ older brother, a substance abuser whom Garcia-Torres looked up to and tried to help, ended up being deported and dying in Mexico.

For more: The Mercury News

Posted by Thomas A. (Tad) DiBiase, The No Body Guy