Santa Clara County

Jury Reaches Verdict in Sierra LaMar Murder Trial

The jury in the Sierra LaMar murder trial has reached a verdict to be read at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Sierra, a 15-year-old from Morgan Hill, disappeared while walking to a school bus stop on March 16, 2012. Suspect Antolin Garcia Torres is charged with murdering the teen, even though her body has not been found.

Defense lawyers suggested the teen is a runaway and a missing person, while prosecutors have linked Garcia Torres to DNA evidence.

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A Santa Clara County crime lab analyst testified in the trial that hair found on a rope recovered from the back of Garcia Torres' car contained Sierra's DNA.

Sierra's family and friends will be at the courthouse Tuesday, hooping they'll see justice for their loved one.

Channah Foreman has been waiting for a long time to see justice for her best friend. While she’s hoping for a guilty verdict, her ultimate wish is to find Sierra.

"It’s going to be that lingering question of what happened to her," Foreman said. "This could have happened, this possibility most likely did happen."

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According to experts, the threshold question for the jury is whether Sierra possibly is still alive. In a homicide, if the jury felt she could still be out there, that could go in the defendant's favor, they said.

The trial started in January. The jury deliberated between 10 to 11 hours before reaching a verdict, a spokesperson for the Santa Clara County Court said.

NBC Bay Area's Cheryl Hurd contributed to this report.

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