GUILTY: Jury convicts Anthony Garcia of murder
A Douglas County jury has convicted Anthony Garcia on all counts including four counts of First Degree Murder.
The jury got the case Tuesday afternoon after weeks of testimony about the 2008 deaths of Thomas Hunter, the 11-year-old son of Creighton University Medical Center pathologist Dr. William Hunter, and the family's housekeeper, Shirlee Sherman, as well as the 2013 deaths of Creighton pathologist Dr. Roger Brumback and his wife Mary.
The sequestered jury worked extended hours Tuesday deliberating until 8 p.m. Those deliberations began again at 9 Wednesday morning. Word of the verdict came around 1:30 p.m. The verdict was guilty on all counts.
A stoic Garcia sat back in his chair with his legs crossed as the jury delivered its decision. Members of his family left the courtroom in tears.
A family member of victim Shirlee Sherman left the courtroom saying Garcia got what he deserved and believes Garcia should get the death penalty.
Garcia's mother was also in tears leaving court. She said she knows this is difficult for the other families involved but it is difficult for the Garcia family too.
Prosecutor Don Kleine said, "We've waited so long," for this verdict. "It's been a long road, it really has and it's very emotional."
Kleine said this has not been an easy case and the Omaha Police Department did an extraordinary job.
Defense Attorney Bob Motta said he didn't know what turned the case for the jury. He said he might have been, "the quasi-confession," that an exotic dancer had testified to in the trial or it could have been the cell phone evidence that Motta questioned.
Attorney Bob Motta Jr. said, "We did the best we could."
After closing arguments in the case Tuesday the jury received instructions from Judge Randall who reminded them that their job is to determine the facts in this case and apply them to the law.
This is a case with nine crimes in all: four counts of First Degree Murder, four counts of Use of a Deadly Weapon and one count of Attempted Burglary. Garcia was convicted on all counts.
On the murder charges, the jury could have found Garcia guilty of First or Second Degree Murder or they could have found him not guilty.
Randall also reminded the jurors they had to make their decision regardless of what could happen to Garcia since the death penalty isn't off the table in this case. A unanimous verdict was needed.
The first death penalty phase in the case is a hearing scheduled for Friday at noon. That will look into aggravating circumstances.
We spoke with Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer after the verdict was read. He spoke highly of the work that members of OPD did on this case and he said, "The community of Omaha never has to worry about Anthony Garcia again."
The jury deliberated for six to seven hours before returning the verdict at mid-afternoon Wednesday.
Expect an appeal of the verdict. The defense said there will be another trial.
Verdict reached in Anthony Garcia trial
VERDICT REACHED: A jury has found Anthony Garcia guilty of four counts of first-degree murder, four counts of use of a deadly weapon, and one count of attempted burglary. Watch LIVE updates here from the Douglas County Courthouse as they become available.Posted by WOWT 6 News on Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Crowd filters in to hear verdict
Defense team arrives
Garcia is accused of four murders: Thomas Hunter and Shirlee Sherman in 2008 and Roger and Mary Brumback in 2013.
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