Tears flow as parents of Sierra LaMar give victim impact statements

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- It was difficult to find any dry eyes in court on Thursday as the parents of 15-year-old Sierra LaMar told the jury how her death has left them hurting.

TIMELINE: Sierra LaMar kidnapping, murder investigation case

The penalty phase of the case is underway that will determine if Antolin Garcia-Torres gets the death penalty or life without parole.

They knew as they arrived at the courthouse that this would be an emotional day. It was time for Marlene and Steve LaMar to give victim impact statements, to let the jury know how their daughter's death has affected them.

Marlene sobbed on the stand, finding it difficult to contain her sorrow as she talked about Sierra as a caring person who loved to dance. The hardest part was watching a video of Sierra smiling and lip-syncing to a song.

FULL VIDEO: Sierra LaMar's mother speaks after giving victim impact statement
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Marlene LaMar spoke to ABC7 News after giving her victim impact statement about her daughter, Sierra LaMar.

"It's the first time that I heard her speak live on a video, so that was really hard because I've been avoiding that because it's been so painful just to look at videos of her. But I've been doing it a lot lately this past month," mother Marlene said.

Father Steve also fought back tears watching the video, describing Sierra as goofy and playful with an infectious laugh.
"Hard, it's still hard," he said. "For a long time, probably have only been able to watch videos of Sierra in the last year or so, and it's still hard. I still cry."

FULL VIDEO: Sierra LaMar's father speaks after giving victim impact statement
EMBED More News Videos

Steve LaMar spoke to ABC7 News after giving a victim impact statement about his daughter, Sierra LaMar.

Tears filled the eyes of several jurors, while convicted killer Garcia-Torres avoided eye contact and didn't look at the slides and video.

The jury looked sad. "The part of the case now is about impact on this jury and what is their moral decision, so there's no question the fact they were emotionally affected by this testimony, will likely have an impact on their decision," legal analyst Steven Clark said.

The penalty phase resumes on Monday.

Click here for full coverage on the Sierra LaMar case.

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