General Crime

* Antolin Garcia Torres awaiting trial for the alleged kidnapping and murder of missing Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar

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Antolin Garcia Torres, the man awaiting trial for the alleged kidnapping and murder of missing Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar, has now been charged with three attempted kidnappings that occurred in March 2009, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. Garcia Torres, 21, was charged with the three additional counts on Tuesday, Deputy District Attorney David Boyd said.

The charges stem from incidents that occurred on March 19 and March 26, 2009, when three women reported being assaulted by a man in Morgan Hill Safeway parking lots. On March 19, 2009, a 36-year-old Morgan Hill woman reported being followed to her car in the parking lot of the Safeway at 840 E. Dunne Ave. just before 11 p.m., according to police.

About half an hour later, another woman reported being attacked in the parking lot of a Safeway at 235 Tennant Station. That woman, a 46-year-old San Martin resident, told police that a man had used a stun gun on the back of her neck and head but fled when someone nearby heard her screaming, police said. Then, on March 26, an 18-year-old Gilroy woman told police that a man had attacked her while she was sitting in her car around 8:40 p.m. in the parking lot of the East Dunn Avenue Safeway, police said.

The woman told police that the man had opened her car door as she was taking a pocketknife out of her glove compartment to protect herself, police said. But the man grabbed her hand and brought the blade up to her neck, according to police. After a brief struggle, the woman’s screams apparently caused the man to flee, police said. All women offered similar descriptions of their attacker, and at the time of the attacks, Morgan Hill police said they were looking for one suspect in connection with all three incidents.

Morgan Hill police also released a sketch of the suspect, which media then re-released in May after Garcia Torres was arrested on suspicion of murdering LaMar, based on the sketch’s likeness to the accused killer. At the time of Garcia Torres’ arrest, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith had hinted at Garcia Torres’ connection to three other incidents that occurred in March 2009. Garcia Torres had worked at the Tennant Avenue Safeway.

Although Garcia Torres was 17 at the time of the alleged crimes, Boyd said his office had been granted permission by a juvenile court judge to charge him as an adult. Garcia Torres is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges in Santa Clara County Superior Court on Dec. 10.

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