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  1. #301
    Administrator Aubrey's Avatar
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    Antolin Garcia-Torres spared death penalty in Sierra LaMar case

    Updated 5 mins ago - June 5, 2017

    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The man convicted of murder in the death of Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar has been spared his life.

    The same jury that convicted Antolin Garcia-Torres, 26, decided Monday that the appropriate sentence is life in prison without the possibility of parole. It could have imposed the death penalty.

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    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

  2. #302
    Administrator Aubrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protectkidz View Post
    maybe, maybe, maybe he will say where she is...he will have a lot of time to think about it.
    Maybe, there's always a chance he might, would like to see this happen for her family's sake. :'(
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

  3. #303
    Administrator mykittysmama's Avatar
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    Attorneys seek new trial for man convicted in Sierra LaMar killing

    Sept 15, 2017


    A man convicted of kidnapping and killing South Bay teenager Sierra LaMar could receive a new trial if defense attorneys are granted a motion arguing that the judge who presided over the trial should have recused herself because she previously represented the lead investigator for the prosecution.

    Defense attorneys for 26-year-old Antolin Garcia-Torres filed a motion for disqualification during a sentencing hearing Thursday in Santa Clara County Superior Court. The move brought the sentencing hearing to an abrupt halt until the motion is resolved.

    A jury convicted Garcia-Torres in the high-profile capital murder case, but voted in June to give him life in prison without parole instead of the death penalty.

    The defense motion seeks to get Garcia-Torres’ conviction tossed, arguing that Judge Vanessa Zecher should have never presided over the trial.

    Before becoming a judge, Zecher represented the lead investigator, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Herman Leon, in a wrongful death lawsuit involving a mentally ill inmate in 1990 while she was a deputy county counsel in Santa Clara County, according to Garcia-Torres’ attorneys and court officials.

    While researching allegations of misconduct in previous investigations involving Leon, defense attorneys learned Wednesday, the day before the sentencing hearing, that Zecher had represented Leon in the civil case.

    In the wrongful death case, the family of inmate Jeffrey Leonti charged that he died in 1989 while in custody at the Santa Clara County Main Jail when guards used stun guns to subdue him. The lawsuit named Leon as one of the guards involved in Leonti’s death. The county ended up paying Leonti’s family $650,000 to settle the case, attorneys said.

    Defense attorneys argued Zecher’s involvement was “substantial,” stating “within the course of her representation of Sergeant Leon as his attorney she was required to develop a duty of loyalty to him and his interest, including protecting him from allegations in the killing of Jeffrey Leonti ... had such a disclosure been made, defense counsel would have insisted on Judge Zecher disqualifying herself from the case.”

    Leon, who later became a Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office sergeant, had been involved in the LaMar case since she disappeared near her Morgan Hill home on March 16, 2012, while walking to catch a bus to school.

    In May 2012, after Garcia-Torres had been charged in the case, court records show Leon outlined why the suspect was arrested on suspicion of LaMar’s murder despite no body being recovered.

    “Sierra LaMar has no independent means of support,” he wrote in a statement on the grounds for Garcia-Torres’ arrest. “All of her known personal belongings, including her asthma inhaler, her money, her house keys and the clothing she was wearing the morning of her disappearance, have been located.”

    The strongest piece of evidence uncovered in the investigation and highlighted by prosecutors throughout the trial was Sierra’s hair found on a rope in Garcia-Torres’ car.

    But the defense sought to cast doubt on the evidence when shortly after Garcia-Torres’ conviction, a Santa Clara County court found Leon falsely testified in another murder trial. The defense began probing into past misconduct by Leon, which led them to discover that Zecher represented him decades ago.

    Defense attorneys now say Leon’s earlier misconduct is grounds for making the argument that he tampered with evidence in the LaMar case and possibly planted the hair evidence.

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    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  4. #304
    Senior Member Oregongal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mykittysmama View Post
    Attorneys seek new trial for man convicted in Sierra LaMar killing

    Sept 15, 2017


    A man convicted of kidnapping and killing South Bay teenager Sierra LaMar could receive a new trial if defense attorneys are granted a motion arguing that the judge who presided over the trial should have recused herself because she previously represented the lead investigator for the prosecution.

    Defense attorneys for 26-year-old Antolin Garcia-Torres filed a motion for disqualification during a sentencing hearing Thursday in Santa Clara County Superior Court. The move brought the sentencing hearing to an abrupt halt until the motion is resolved.

    A jury convicted Garcia-Torres in the high-profile capital murder case, but voted in June to give him life in prison without parole instead of the death penalty.

    The defense motion seeks to get Garcia-Torres’ conviction tossed, arguing that Judge Vanessa Zecher should have never presided over the trial.

    Before becoming a judge, Zecher represented the lead investigator, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Herman Leon, in a wrongful death lawsuit involving a mentally ill inmate in 1990 while she was a deputy county counsel in Santa Clara County, according to Garcia-Torres’ attorneys and court officials.

    While researching allegations of misconduct in previous investigations involving Leon, defense attorneys learned Wednesday, the day before the sentencing hearing, that Zecher had represented Leon in the civil case.

    In the wrongful death case, the family of inmate Jeffrey Leonti charged that he died in 1989 while in custody at the Santa Clara County Main Jail when guards used stun guns to subdue him. The lawsuit named Leon as one of the guards involved in Leonti’s death. The county ended up paying Leonti’s family $650,000 to settle the case, attorneys said.

    Defense attorneys argued Zecher’s involvement was “substantial,” stating “within the course of her representation of Sergeant Leon as his attorney she was required to develop a duty of loyalty to him and his interest, including protecting him from allegations in the killing of Jeffrey Leonti ... had such a disclosure been made, defense counsel would have insisted on Judge Zecher disqualifying herself from the case.”

    Leon, who later became a Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office sergeant, had been involved in the LaMar case since she disappeared near her Morgan Hill home on March 16, 2012, while walking to catch a bus to school.

    In May 2012, after Garcia-Torres had been charged in the case, court records show Leon outlined why the suspect was arrested on suspicion of LaMar’s murder despite no body being recovered.

    “Sierra LaMar has no independent means of support,” he wrote in a statement on the grounds for Garcia-Torres’ arrest. “All of her known personal belongings, including her asthma inhaler, her money, her house keys and the clothing she was wearing the morning of her disappearance, have been located.”

    The strongest piece of evidence uncovered in the investigation and highlighted by prosecutors throughout the trial was Sierra’s hair found on a rope in Garcia-Torres’ car.

    But the defense sought to cast doubt on the evidence when shortly after Garcia-Torres’ conviction, a Santa Clara County court found Leon falsely testified in another murder trial. The defense began probing into past misconduct by Leon, which led them to discover that Zecher represented him decades ago.

    Defense attorneys now say Leon’s earlier misconduct is grounds for making the argument that he tampered with evidence in the LaMar case and possibly planted the hair evidence.

    more at link

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    Wow!
    This is one that makes me go...hmmm?

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