The defense reveal that Anthony Garcia, accused in the Creighton killings, may have been in Omaha in May 2013 to look for a job, and waned to use Creighton doctors as a reference. The disclosure came during testimony and questioning Tuesday in Douglas County District Court.
Forensic Analyst Nick Herfordt continued testimony on Tuesday saying Garcia searched “Chhanda Bewtra” and “Roger Brumback” on his phone and tablet shortly before the murders.
The defense says Garcia was searching for a job in Omaha, and was looking up reference information.
Prosecutors later discussed a box of receipts found at Garcia's parent's home when OPD detectives searched their property in California in July 2013. Officer Doug Herout pieced together a transaction history of March 2008 showing he had time to drive to Omaha from Louisiana and killed Thomas Hunter and Shirlee Sherman on March 13, 2013.
The defense argued he frequently took out cash to go to strip clubs and casinos, and you can’t get a hotel without running a credit card.
OPD Crime Lab Tech Dan Bredow, a firearms analyst, testified about the gun parts found at the Brumback murder scene. He said that the recoil guide and spring, the magazine, and broken assembly retainer loop could’ve come from the Smith and Wesson SD9VE that Garcia purchased months before the killings.
The defense says those parts could fit other firearms, and if put in the wrong gun can make it fall apart.
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Legal Analyst Randy Paragas says it’s hard to understand how a suspect who is supposedly hiding other evidence would be careless with a weapon.
"It's peculiar, because you think that the defendant in this case was meticulous about not leaving a lot of evidence and then all of a sudden for some evidence to come out, that there were parts of the gun. It's my understanding parts that were integral to the use of the gun, to just leave those lying around at the murder scene, doesn't fit with the M.O. of this defendant,” Paragas explained.
Detective Ryan Davis testified Tuesday afternoon about a search warrant issued on Garcia’s Terre Haute, IN home on July 15, 2013. Det. Davis said the house was sparsely decorated, but there were several documents on a living room table that were “positioned intently, they were in good order.”
The documents included Garcia’s birth certificate, a medical licensure from the University of Utah, the deed to his house, the title to his Mercedes-Benz, and his license to be a physician and surgeon in Illinois.
Detectives also found the Smith & Wesson handgun box registered to Garcia in his home. When searching the kitchen they noticed a trash bag full of documents soaking in some sort of chemical in the sink.
In those soaked documents were Garcia’s evaluations written by Dr. Bewtra in 2001, a letter notifying Garcia his appeal of the Creighton termination was denied, and a hand written not with a list of tasks to steal someone’s identity.
Det. Davis did not get a chance to explain further what the handwritten note meant or what else was in the bag. His testimony will continue on Wednesday.