A judge has ruled that there is enough probable cause to move forward with prosecuting Anthony Garcia for an attempted break-in.
That ruling came on Thursday. The judge had said he would also hear a motion regarding Garcia’s treatment but defense attorneys said they were not prepared to pursue that.
While Garcia is facing four counts of murder, on Thursday the issue was an attempted burglary. The charge is linked to an attempted break-in at the home of Dr. Chandra Bewtra.
Garcia’s attorneys said there were plenty of other Creighton pathology residents unhappy with her who could have had a grudge and that the DNA evidence on the back door was “weak" at best - a one-in-12 chance that it's him.
The last time we saw Garcia was more than a month ago. He still acted as though he didn't trust his attorneys. A judge ruled him competent to stand trial.
In court Thursday he appeared focused. He took notes on a legal pad the entire time, passed information to his attorneys and didn't seem to react one way or another to testimony.
His attorneys say their client's mental state is fragile and want changes.
Garcia has been in custody for almost a year now. His attorneys say he's been on confinement for 23-hours a day. No books, no food line, no privileges.
Garcia is charged in the 2008 Dundee murders of 11-year-old Thomas Hunter, son of Creighton pathologist William Hunter, and the family's housekeeper Shirlee Sherman. He is also charged with the 2013 murders of Creighton pathologist Dr. Roger Brumback and his wife Mary.
The state says both families played a role in kicking Garcia out of the Creighton pathology program in 2001. Prosecutors say that was the motive in the murders.
Garcia's attorneys want the courts to let him be like the majority of other inmates awaiting trial where you can be as free as possible when you're locked up.
Defense attorney Bob Motta said, “You just don't do it like that. This isn't Nazi Germany or old England. This is America and frankly it's upsetting to me. And when I can't meet with my client prior to a hearing without the police being in there, I've got a problem with that."
On Thursday, the state argued that the attempted break-in at the home of Dr. Bewtra was the work of Garcia. They say the alarm scared him away.
While defense attorney Alison Motta called the DNA evidence "non-existent," Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said, “We don't agree with that by any stretch. You hear how he looked up the addresses."
We also got a glimpse Thursday of what the defense team might use in the murder case as they claimed that 10 to 20 other residents at Creighton also had grudges and that Garcia looked up doctors on the web all the time as part of his job search.
Motta said, “There are holes. When you have a case that is purely circumstantial and no direct evidence - let me put it this way, we're not pleading out this case. We're going to trial."
It looks like the case against Dr. Garcia will go to trial next February.
He'll be back in court in August to talk about jail conditions. In September we'll hear the defense argue that all three of these cases should be tried separately.