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Old 05-23-2012, 12:29 AM
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CA - Sierra Lamar, 15, Santa Clara County, 16 March 2012 **arrest** - #19



Sierra LaMar, 15, has been missing since Friday, March 16. She left home early that morning to walk to her bus stop for school. Her cell phone was found along a local roadway shortly after, and her purse/bag was also found later.
Facebook page - www.facebook.com/help.find.sierra

Sierra LaMar Suspect Under Surveillance Before Arrest

DON'T GO ANY FURTHER UNTIL YOU READ THIS POST!

no one has been cleared but the parents and boyfriend of Siera's mother have not been named persons of interest in the case and we will not be sleuthing or speculating about them at this time...

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Old 05-31-2012, 10:14 PM
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**arrest**CA - Sierra Lamar, 15, Santa Clara County, 16 March 2012 #19

Please continue here.

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Old 05-31-2012, 10:41 PM
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AGT's no plea

Someone asked in the last thread why AGT would not enter a plea today.

I'm not a lawyer but as I understand it, there's nothing to gain for him at this point by not entering a plea and some possible drawbacks to entering a plea.

First, one reason to enter a plea immediately is to try to bond out. Raise your hand if you think a judge is going to set a bond? Yeah, me either. He knows he's stuck in jail until trial.

Second, his public defender needs to become familiar with the case. Discovery starts soon, whether AGT enters a plea or not and that will give his lawyer the information he needs to advise his client to plea bargain, plead not guilty or plead guilty.

Third, the clock for various processes starts ticking when AGT enters a plea. This can be to his advantage or great disadvantage (the longer they wait to resolve the case, the more likely it is her body will be found).

Someone else asked if the defence will have access to all evidence and information the prosecution has. The answer is yes; this is what is meant by the term discovery. The defendant has the right to know all the evidence against him before he goes to trial.

Finally, AGT may well plea bargain. What we know the prosecution has is evidence that AGT's DNA was on Sierra's clothing, Sierra's DNA was in AGT's car and that there are something like 80 pieces of videotape showing AGT's car in proximity to Sierra's last location, her cell phone and her bag. We know Sierra is still missing and probably deceased.

Assuming AGT caused Sierra's death, there's a whole range of possible scenarios. If we could view the whole incident omnisciently, he might actually be guilty of anything ranging from manslaughter to murder one.

Part of his lawyer's job is to make sure that if his client plea bargains, he pleads guilty to the appropriate charge.

Again, I'm not a lawyer and the above is just my average layperson's knowledge of the system.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:44 PM
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I would like to know why they charged him in a way that if they cannot get a murder conviction they will not be able to try him for kidnapping. The DA must have some very strong evidence against this guy...but even so, as of right now I do not understand why it was charged in a way that lets him off any kidnapping charges if he beats the murder charge.

http://www.mercurynews.com/sierra-la...t-again-enters

Prosecutors had filed a charge of murder against Garcia Torres in his first court appearance a week ago, but Thursday's hearing was his first formal hearing with his new attorney at his side.
...

Garcia Torres was also charged with kidnapping by Morgan Hill police, who say they believe he carried out at least one other attack in the parking lot of the Safeway. They're investigating him as a possible suspect in three unsolved assaults in supermarket parking lots in March 2009. But if he's found innocent of murder, prosecutors won't be able to try him on the kidnapping charge. "The DA's office has pinned its entire case on the murder," Clark said. "It's a risky strategy when the evidence is as complicated as it is in this case."

Last edited by krkrjx; 05-31-2012 at 10:51 PM. Reason: add link
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:48 PM
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Interesting article in the San Jose Mercury tonight. Sorry cant copy the part but the DA are putting everything on a conviction of murder. If cant prove that then the kidnapping can't be found guilty. I truly hope they have a strong strong case.
http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-...t-again-enters
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:14 AM
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This isn't Pinellas Florida..thank goodness. I have great faith in people who will be picked for a jury in Santa Clara or San Mateo County. There is absolutely no tolerance for crime in this area. Most jurors are extremely educated and they will understand the term '"Beyond a Reasonable Doubt"...unlike the jurors in Florida. I am certain they will get a conviction.
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Old 06-01-2012, 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Whisperer View Post
This isn't Pinellas Florida..thank goodness. I have great faith in people who will be picked for a jury in Santa Clara or San Mateo County. There is absolutely no tolerance for crime in this area. Most jurors are extremely educated and they will understand the term '"Beyond a Reasonable Doubt"...unlike the jurors in Florida. I am certain they will get a conviction.
Good, because I was having flashbacks *eek*
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:12 AM
Sarahlou Sarahlou is offline
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If I was innocent I'd be shouting it from the rooftops, not entering a no plea.
I really hope they have enough to put this guy away forever.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Sarahlou View Post
If I was innocent I'd be shouting it from the rooftops, not entering a no plea.
I really hope they have enough to put this guy away forever.
I am just using the quote as a jump off point, my comment is not actually directed towards any one person in general.

From what I know about how the Law works, When you waive a preliminary hearing you are not admitting guilt, you are only agreeing that there is enough evidence against you for you to stand trial.

Why does this article say he waived his arraignment though?
http://cupertino.patch.com/articles/...-murder-charge

If he waived his arraignment that is basically the same as entering a Not guilty plea but you can always go back and plea bargain. From what I understand it just means you do not have to show up at the arraignment, and you would show up only at pre-trial. Usually when an attorney waives an arraignment in a case, its because they are going for a reduced sentence or plea bargain. So if the articles that are saying that he waived his arraignment are true, that says alot.

However I AM NOT TRUSTING ANYTHING in the media. It has all been so off/on.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by krkrjx View Post
But if he's found innocent of murder, prosecutors won't be able to try him on the kidnapping charge. "The DA's office has pinned its entire case on the murder," Clark said. "It's a risky strategy when the evidence is as complicated as it is in this case."[/i]
The thing about this is they know as much as we do.. which isn't much.

Can't charges change as well? Like having him for murder 1, voluntary manslaughter, etc and then the jury picks the one they think fits best..?

I stand by that the prosecution must have some pretty damning evidence to be so gung ho on charges. I have faith that these charges will stick and if he's dumb enough to go to trial without a plea bargain, he will be found guilty of SOMETHING.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by LBrennanVW View Post
The thing about this is they know as much as we do.. which isn't much.

Can't charges change as well? Like having him for murder 1, voluntary manslaughter, etc and then the jury picks the one they think fits best..?

I stand by that the prosecution must have some pretty damning evidence to be so gung ho on charges. I have faith that these charges will stick and if he's dumb enough to go to trial without a plea bargain, he will be found guilty of SOMETHING.
My understanding has always been that if a death occurs during the commission of a felony (in this case, kidnapping) it is first degree murder regardless of how the person died. That says there can be no choice for the jury to go with manslaughter, second degree, etc. It is either guilty of Murder One or not guilty. That is assuming the charge stays as is and is not reduced due to a plea bargain somewhere along the way.

Sounds to me as if the DA has strong evidence that Sierra is deceased...and I think it would have to be a lot more than just the fact that she hasn't tweeted since the day she was last seen. That is not insignificant but I don't think that alone will convict of Murder.

Anyway, time will tell exactly what evidence they have.
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:22 AM
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well this certainly didn't make me feel any better today! Possible walk for AGT?
http://losgatos.patch.com/articles/c...medium=twitter
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:27 AM
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I wonder if this is Clark's opinion or a fact?

Quote:
Clark also said the discovery of Sierra’s body could help the defense because it could serve as an alibi if the teen’s body is found in a location that the suspect has never been to, which authorities can verify by reviewing the GPS device that was secretly placed on Garcia-Torres’ car when authorities began 24-hour surveillance of him on March 28.
http://losgatos.patch.com/articles/c...medium=twitter
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by leighmarker View Post
well this certainly didn't make me feel any better today! Possible walk for AGT?
http://losgatos.patch.com/articles/c...medium=twitter
I don't really understand why a kidnapping charge would not be included. Anyone?

Still, I have hopes that the evidence for murder is strong and that Sierra is found before trial. I think that will be at least a year away...
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:39 AM
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Clark also said the discovery of Sierra’s body could help the defense because it could serve as an alibi if the teen’s body is found in a location that the suspect has never been to, which authorities can verify by reviewing the GPS device that was secretly placed on Garcia-Torres’ car when authorities began 24-hour surveillance of him on March 28.
yeah right
That doesn't make sense as he could have disposed of the body before the GPS was placed on his car.
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:49 AM
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OT kinda, I guess I better back off thinking about this case. Last night I dreamed I was at the Uvas Resv. and was taking pictures of it to show WS members, pic of the spillway and while I was (dreaming) walking around the water was trying to figure out where she was...hubs said I am nuts and need to get my mind on other stuff! lol
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:03 AM
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Just throwing this out there, but what if they don't have any evidence that he did kidnap her, i.e. they have evidence now that she willingly went with him.
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:03 AM
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It's ok Leighmarker....all. We all feel the same way! Either our husbands, wives or significant others think we are crazy and need to get a new hobby. My boyfriend constantly asks 'Are you going to kill me someday and hide my body'....to which I reply no, but I guess it's just b/c I'm interested in true crime. Oh well!
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by SurfieTX View Post
Just throwing this out there, but what if they don't have any evidence that he did kidnap her, i.e. they have evidence now that she willingly went with him.
Wouldn't it still be kidnapping if he subsequently held her against her will? She's a minor for one thing.
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by cluciano63 View Post
I don't really understand why a kidnapping charge would not be included. Anyone?

Still, I have hopes that the evidence for murder is strong and that Sierra is found before trial. I think that will be at least a year away...
I think the talking head basically is saying because it is not a separate charge vs murder with special circumstances (the special circumstance being kidnapping)

that being said, without a body I think they had to do it the way they did.

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Old 06-01-2012, 11:14 AM
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If GPS was put on his car while he was under surveillance, it would be helpful for the searchers to know where he did go to exclude places to search since it seems he never went back to the scene(s).
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:28 AM
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yeah right
That doesn't make sense as he could have disposed of the body before the GPS was placed on his car.
Yeah! Not only that, but didn't his mom say he knew he was being followed? If he knew he was being followed, he probably wouldn't go anywhere near where he put her body and would stay away from suspicious activity. Duh. His mother is not doing him any favors saying things like that.

Honestly, I would be surprised if he kept Sierra alive for longer than 24 hours. I hate to say this because it just makes me so sad, but I wouldn't be surprised if he killed her before her family even knew she was missing. They didn't start following him until like March 28th IIRC. By then, I don't think she was alive anymore so that comment really doesn't make any sense!
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Eclipse33 View Post
It's ok Leighmarker....all. We all feel the same way! Either our husbands, wives or significant others think we are crazy and need to get a new hobby. My boyfriend constantly asks 'Are you going to kill me someday and hide my body'....to which I reply no, but I guess it's just b/c I'm interested in true crime. Oh well!
how funny my hubs says I watch so I can kill him and not get caught! My mom thinks I am insane to get so wrapped up in these things.
But, like you I thrive on true crime and the bad guys getting caught (hopefully)
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by liltexans View Post
Wouldn't it still be kidnapping if he subsequently held her against her will? She's a minor for one thing.
I am guessing if they never find her/or her body kidnapping charge would be hard to prove?
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:38 AM
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another thing, lawyer has him waive a "speedy trial" so they can get their own experts/witnesses...probably means we won't be seeing this dude go to trial for a long time.
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