Sierra LaMar Murder Trial: Defense Gains Access to DNA Analysis

The case started four years ago this week when the Morgan Hill teen disappeared while walking to a school bus stop.

Attorneys representing the suspect in the Sierra LaMar murder trial will now be getting access to a potential key piece of evidence: DNA analysis.

The lawyers for Antolin Garcia-Torres filed a motion last week to obtain the evidence. A crime lab previously tested the DNA on LaMar's pants and received a hit on 12 profiles, with one of those profiles being Garcia-Torres.

Lawyers representing Garcia-Torres escorted the suspect into court on Monday and announced the defense "went over both protective orders and came to an agreement" to gain access to the evidence.

The defense wants to know who the other 11 profiles from the lab test belong to.

"The defense is looking at DNA as a big battleground in this case," Legal analyst Steven Clark said. "They have to go after the prosecution's DNA expert, and say they're inaccurate in saying  Garcia-Torres is the donor of that DNA."

The case started four years ago this week when LaMar disappeared while walking to a school bus stop.

Police presume the Morgan Hill teen to be dead and her body has not been found. Garcia-Torres was indicted by a grand jury for LaMar's death. He is facing a possible death sentence if convicted.

Without a body, experts said the DNA evidence pointing to Garcia-Torres is crucial in the case. The 11 profiles that got DNA hits belong to people who are also on the state criminal database. Defense lawyers now have to figure out if they may have been anywhere near Morgan Hill when LaMar disappeared.

"That is a tremendous amount of evidence to review," Clark said. "They will prepare a report and give it to the prosecution, which could significantly delay the trial."

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