Officials say verdict reached in Sierra LaMar case

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The jury in the capital murder case of Antolin Garcia-Torres, accused of kidnapping and killing Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar in 2012, has reached a verdict and will announce their decision on Tuesday morning. (KGO-TV)

The jury in the capital murder case of Antolin Garcia-Torres, accused of kidnapping and killing Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar in 2012, has reached a verdict. Click here for full coverage on the case.

TIMELINE: Sierra LaMar kidnapping, murder case

The jury will return its verdict Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Santa Clara County Courthouse, according to court spokesperson Benjamin Rada.

Deliberations among the jury of six women and six men lasted the equivalent of two days. Judge Vanessa Zecher turned the case over to them May 4, after three months of testimony and arguments. Their first job was to elect a jury foreperson. They deliberated again on Friday morning, but took the afternoon off. They then deliberated all day Monday.

LaMar's family has been waiting five years for justice. She disappeared the morning of March 16, 2012, as she walked to the bus, and hasn't been seen or heard from since. She was last known to be alive at 7:11 a.m., based on text messages and use of her laptop.

RELATED: Defense wraps up closing arguments in Sierra LaMar murder trial

While no body, no crime scene and no murder weapon has ever been found, the prosecution relied on DNA evidence to connect Garcia-Torres, 26, to Sierra's disappearance. The teen's clothing and cell phone were found discarded near her family's home in the days after.

The prosecution said Garcia-Torres' DNA was found on Sierra's jeans, and her DNA was found on an armrest in the defendant's red VW Jetta. In addition to that, a rope was also found in the trunk that the prosecution said had Sierra's hair. However, the defense said the DNA evidence was flawed

The jury must weigh all the evidence in total to determine if Garcia-Torres is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

RELATED: Sierra LaMar's mom testifies in Antolin Garcia-Torres murder trial

The quick verdict may be an indication that the jury did not need too much time to go over three months' worth of testimony by witnesses and large amounts of evidence, including the clothing Sierra LaMar wore to school the day she disappeared.

Garcia-Torres faces four felony counts. Count 1 is for the murder and kidnap of Sierra LaMar.

Counts 2, 3 and 4 pertain to the attempted kidnap of three adult women in the parking lots of two Safeway stores in Morgan Hill, where Garcia-Torres once worked. The three women victims did not identify Garcia-Torres in a lineup. The prosecution, however, argued that these 2009 incidents were trial runs for what led to LaMar's kidnapping and murder.

RELATED: Sierra LaMar murder trial focus turns to DNA evidence

The jury will render separate verdicts for each of the four counts. If Garcia-Torres is found guilty of count 1, the case will move to a second phase in which the same jury must decide whether he should be sentenced to life in prison or the death penalty.

The courtroom is expected to be filled Tuesday with the families of the defendant and the victim, as well as the many volunteers who searched for LaMar after her disappearance.

ABC7 News will bring you live coverage on TV and online after the verdict is announced. Click here to download the ABC7 News app for free. And be sure to enable push alerts to be the first to know about breaking news.

Click here for full coverage on Sierra LaMar.
Related Topics:
newssierra lamartrialmurdermurder mysteryjury dutycourtcourt casemissing personmissing girlDNAinvestigationsanta clara countySan JoseMorgan Hill
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