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Sierra LaMar case: accused killer to appear in court

May 23, 2012 |  8:29 pm

Antolin Garcia-Torres is scheduled to appear in court in the Sierra LaMar caseA 21-year-old man accused of kidnapping and killing Bay Area teenager Sierra LaMar is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday.

Antolin Garcia-Torres is expected to appear at noon in Superior Court in Santa Clara County, according to online booking records. He was being held Wednesday without bail.

The 15-year-old LaMar, who lived in Morgan Hill, disappeared on her way to school on the morning of March 16.  Her case sparked considerable attention and prompted a flurry of tips to authorities.

Garcia-Torres was arrested Monday at a Safeway in Morgan Hill.

On Tuesday, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said  detectives had gathered "direct and circumstantial" evidence showing that Garcia-Torres killed LaMar.

A day after LaMar disappeared, her cellphone and a bag of clothing were found. The bag, according to authorities, had Garcia-Torres' DNA.

“We believe we have probable cause that he committed the kidnapping and murder of Sierra LaMar,” Smith told reporters.

She said the DNA also linked Garcia-Torres to a March 2009 assault in Morgan Hill. He also has a previous conviction for interfering with a police officer and has been arrested but not prosecuted for felony assault, according to authorities.


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— Robert J. Lopez


Photo: Antolin Garcia-Torres, 21, in a photo provided by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department. Credit: Associated Press