The Path That Led To Murder Suspect And The Road Ahead

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After countless hours of digging through paperwork and building a trail of evidence that led to Dr. Anthony Garcia, the Nebraska justice system takes over the case next week.

The 40-year-old Garcia was booked on four counts of felony first-degree murder immediately after he was brought back to Omaha Thursday afternoon. He's accused of killing 11-year-old Thomas Hunter and his family's housekeeper, Shirlee Sherman, in 2008 and Dr. Roger Brumback and his wife Mary in May.

This was a case where there was no major break from the tip line. No anonymous call from a suspect's acquaintance or neighbor as it all came down to good old-fashioned police work. Dr. Garcia will face a judge on Tuesday morning. The judge will consider the charges and announce a bond, which Garcia is unlikely to get because of the seriousness of the charges and potential for fleeing.

The task force's work isn't done. There's plenty of evidence and lab work to be done regarding the search of Garcia's Terre Haute, Indiana home and the SUV he had given to his father in California five years ago. Investigators believe he may have had an axe to grind at other institutions, so they're still checking into some of that as well. Using Garcia's own words before the Indiana Medical Licensing Board, he was "essentially fired" from Utica, New York.

We know about what detectives believe started his grudge, getting fired from the Creighton Pathology Department's residency after 11 months on the job 12 years ago. The two people central to his Creighton firing were Dr. Roger Brumback and Dr. William Hunter, Thomas' father.

Dr. Garcia's last known Omaha address was 25th and Nicholas Court.

He also left a program in Chicago and said he was again "essentially fired" from Shreveport, Louisiana. This doesn't even account for his unsuccessful attempts to get a medical license in California, Texas, Indiana and Kentucky. The only state where he has a license is Illinois, where he was arrested last Monday.

As for Garcia's attorneys, the husband and wife team of Bob and Alison Motta are from the same Chicago law firm that represented serial killer John Wayne Gacy. The Mottas don't have a license to practice in Nebraska, so they will need a Nebraska-licensed lawyer to act as co-counsel. We've been told by some of those contacted that their asking price has not been money but publicity, the exposure that comes with a suspected serial killer case.

"The game is afoot at this point," said attorney Bob Motta. "The state of Nebraska has the heavy burden and we'll put them to the test." Jail officials won't say if he is separated from the other 1,103 inmates in the building, citing safety and security concerns.

One thing we've heard in past cases when it comes to transporting prisoners, law enforcement is instructed not to talk about the case at all, so the time Thursday was passed with small talk during the eight-hour drive to Omaha. The Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled that if a suspect wants to talk about the case there's no crime in listening. The officers just can't make it an interrogation and that information can be used in court.


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