Defense wraps up closing arguments in Sierra LaMar murder trial

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- There is only one more step left before a San Jose jury decides if Antolin Garcia-Torres, 26, kidnapped and murdered Sierra LaMar.

The prosecution next gets to do a rebuttal Thursday after the defense wrapped up closing arguments Wednesday afternoon.

TIMELINE: Sierra LaMar kidnapping, murder case

Prosecutor David Boyd finished his closing argument Wednesday morning, pointing the finger at Garcia-Torres for allegedly killing LaMar, based on DNA evidence. Garcia-Torres is also charged with three attempted kidnappings outside Morgan Hill grocery stores in 2009 that Boyd believes provided practice for kidnapping LaMar.

Boyd told the jury: "Do not reward the defendant for his cunning and success in silencing Sierra LaMar."

Legal analyst Steven Clark said tying the cases together carries some risk. "If the jury believes that he is not responsible for those Safeway attacks, it's going to undermine the overall view of the case that Garcia-Torres had that type of proclivity to go after Sierra LaMar," Clark said.

Then, it was lead defense attorney Al Lopez's turn who got the jury chuckling and smiling as he poked holes in the prosecution evidence. He reminded them there is no murder weapon, no witnesses, and no crime scene. And evidence may have been mishandled or contaminated. "The defense has been very folksy and conversational, but that's their strategy, and I think they've done it fairly effectively, and you will see them continue sort of going down this road of just basically leaving it for the jury to say, 'wait a minute, this trace evidence doesn't add up to murder,"' Clark said.

The defense also criticized investigators for not pursing all leads, including a brown car that was seen near the spot where LaMar may have disappeared.

The defense attorney concluded by saying: "Where's the evidence she's deceased? She is missing and nothing else."

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