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Friday, June 8, 2012

Sierra LaMar Case: Suspect's Attorney Steps Down Over Conflict of Interest

Posted By on Fri, Jun 8, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Antolin Garcia-Torres
  • Antolin Garcia-Torres

It appears the suspect accused of kidnapping and murdering 15-year-old Sierra LaMar won't be entering a plea anytime soon. According to press reports, 21-year-old Antolin Garcia-Torres' lawyer dropped him yesterday, citing a conflict of interest issue.

Here's the conflict: Public Defender Ken Mandel's Office is already representing Garcia-Torres' father, Genaro Garcia, who is also sitting in Santa Clara County Jail.

NBC reports that Garcia was arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing a relative.  He's been charged with 11 counts of lewd and lascivious acts, and three counts of aggravated sexual assault with a minor under 14.

Garcia-Torres, who appeared in court again yesterday, is not expected to enter a plea until July 31 with his new attorney.

Meanwhile, volunteers continued to scour the grounds looking for LaMar, who was last seen on Mach 16 as she was getting ready for school. She never made it to class that day, and police later found her clothing and cellphone on the side of the road.

click to enlarge Genaro Garcia
  • Genaro Garcia
Garcia-Torres was arrested in May after traces of his DNA were found on her clothing and her DNA was located inside his red Jetta that police had impounded. Police had identified him as the suspect on March 28, but held off on arresting him, and instead placed him on a 24-hour surveillance, hoping he would take police to her body.

Police have been tight-lipped about what kind of DNA was found; however, they confirmed it was not blood. Still, prosecutors believe they have a solid case, despite the fact that neither LaMar's body nor a murder weapon has been found.

Prosecutors say Garcia-Torres is eligible for the death penalty.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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