Sierra LaMar: Nearly Two Years After Teen Goes Missing, Murder Suspect Still Hasn't Entered a Plea
On March 16, 2012, 15-year-old Sierra LaMar disappeared without a trace. Her cellphone and Juicy backpack with clothing inside were later found strewn across a rural road a few miles from her Morgan Hill home.
Antolin Garcia Torres
Authorities later determined she had been kidnapped and killed -- they even arrested a suspect: Antolin Garcia Torres, a Safeway employee with a father in jail for rape.
It was one of those high-profile cases that created a media frenzy and consumed the Bay Area community. But nearly two years after his arrest, Garcia Torres has yet to enter a plea.
Initially, there was a conflict of interest issue: The public defender representing the murder suspect was also representing his father, who was in jail on charges of molesting his own daughter.
Since then, conflict over evidence in the Garcia Torres case has delayed a plea. On Thursday, Torres appeared in court for the umpteenth time, again leaving without entering a plea to charges of kidnapping and murdering Sierra LaMar.
According to NBC News, the defense told the judge that it was "making progress," but still had more evidence to review. As a result, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Sharon Chatman refused to enter a plea on the defendant's behalf and instead set yet another new hearing date for March 3.
At that time, she said she expects a date for a preliminary hearing would be set, and that Garcia Torres would enter a plea.
Here's the court documents which provide details on the defense-prosecution disagreement over evidence:
LaMar's body has never been recovered, however, police say they found traces of Garcia Torres' DNA on LaMar's clothing.
Her family and friends continue weekly searches, looking for LaMar's body.