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Sierra LaMar murder suspect's sister: 'It's not him'

May 22, 2012 | 12:59 pm

Garcia-torresThe sister of a Northern California man accused in the kidnapping and killing of 15-year-old Sierra LaMar said Tuesday that authorities have the wrong person.

Lucero Garcia, 26, told the San Jose Mercury News that the arrest of her brother, Antolin Garcia-Torres, 21, was "unfair." She acknowledged that family members often defend criminal suspects but says she is standing by her brother.

"It's not him," Garcia said. "I honestly feel they don't have enough evidence to convict him."

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said earlier Tuesday that investigators have "direct and circumstantial" evidence leading them to believe that Garcia-Torres killed LaMar.

The Morgan Hill teenager was last seen on the morning of March 16. Her cellphone was found the next day and a bag of clothing — which investigators said had Garcia-Torres' DNA — was recovered a day later.

The DNA also linked Garcia-Torres — who has a previous conviction for interfering with a police officer and has been arrested but not prosecuted for felony assault — to a March 2009 assault in Morgan Hill, Smith said.

Garcia-Torres was being held Tuesday on suspicion of kidnapping and murder.

Isovet Martinez, Garcia's boyfriend, told the Mercury News that authorities suspected Garcia-Torres "because of his image, but image isn't anything."

He said Garcia-Torres' family sends their best wishes to Sierra's family.

Garcia-Torres is married with a young daughter, his sister said. His wife is three months pregnant.

"It feels like we're in a movie right now, an unfair movie," Garcia said.


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