Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen says he plans to seek the death penalty against Antolin Garcia-Torres, the man accused of killing Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar.
Garcia-Torres has been indicted on charges of kidnapping and murder for the death of LaMar in March 2012. The 15-year-old went missing from a bus stop near her house. More than two years later, her body has never been found.
He also was indicted by grand jury for attempting to kidnap three women during attempted carjackings in 2009.
“I have decided to seek the death penalty against Mr. Garcia-Torres," Rosen announced in a release Monday. "I have communicated this decision to the court, the defense counsel and to Sierra’s family. Given the facts of this case and after a
comprehensive review by a committee of senior prosecutors, I have concluded that this defendant should face the ultimate penalty."
If Garcia-Torres is found guilty of murder, an additional jury hearing will be held to determine if the death penalty is appropriate punishment. If the jury decides it is appropriate, the case would then go to a local Death Penalty Review Committee comprised of Rosen and other representatives of the District Attorney's Office. A complete explanation of the process can be viewed here.
"To ensure that the defendant receives a fair trial, I will not be making further comments about my decision at this time," Rosen said.
Garcia-Torres pleaded not guilty to all charges earlier this year and is awaiting trial.