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Antolin Garcia-Torres, man arrested in the disappearance of Calif. teen Sierra LaMar, enters no plea to murder charge

Antolin Garcia-Torres appears in a Santa Clara County courtroom in San Jose, Calif., for his first court appearance Thursday, May 24, 2012. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

Antolin Garcia-Torres appears in a Santa Clara County courtroom in San Jose, Calif., for his first court appearance Thursday, May 24, 2012.
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

(CBS/AP) SAN JOSE, Calif. - Antolin Garcia-Torres, the man accused in the disappearance of  15-year-old California girl Sierra LaMar, made his first appearance in court Thursday but did not enter a plea.

Photos: Arrest made in case of missing Calif. teen

Garcia-Torres was arraigned on murder and kidnapping charges in a Santa Clara County courtroom. He was assigned a public defender.

A judge ordered Garcia-Torres back to court May 31 to enter a plea.

The 21-year-old was arrested earlier this week after authorities said LaMar's DNA was found in his car and his DNA was found inside the teen's handbag.

Garcia-Torres could be eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said his office will make that decision after consulting with the LaMar family and examining the case with other prosecutors. Sheriff Laurie Smith said Sierra and Garcia-Torres did not know each other. Her abduction is believed to be a random act of violence.

Sierra, who remains missing, was last seen by her family leaving her Morgan Hill home on March 16. Investigators believe she was kidnapped while walking to a school bus stop.

On March 18, her school books, purse and clothing were found near a shed in a field about two miles from her home.

Sierra's DNA was later found in Garcia-Torres' Volkswagen Jetta, which investigators seized on April 7 from a trailer he shared with his mother, girlfriend and young daughter.

Garcia-Torres lived about seven miles from LaMar.

Complete coverage of Sierra LaMar on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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