Trial talks "Serial Killer" letter, phone search

Posted at 4:44 PM, Oct 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-17 18:24:25-04

The investigation of Anthony Garcia leads police to five different states, and ultimately his arrest.  Monday jurors hear what data was found on his electronic devices and how authorities initially believed another murder was connected.

Garcia is charged with the murders of Thomas Hunter and Shirlee Sherman in 2008 and Dr. Roger and Mary Brumback in 2013 allegedly as revenge for being fired from the Creighton Pathology Department.


A former OPD sergeant testified to the search done on the silver Honda CRV now owned by Garcia's parents in California.  Witnesses say they saw a vehicle matching that description.  The search warrant was executed the day he was arrested.  Police also found two of Garcia's ATM receipts from 2008 in a box at their home, the day before and after the Dundee murders.

The defense asked a FBI Agent Kevin Hytrek about a letter sent in May 2013 that says OPD needs assistance identifying a "serial killer" involved in the 4 murders plus the 2007 murder of Joy Blanchard.  They believe the Blanchard murder is connected to the Dundee murder because all victims had knives in their necks, and they were only months apart.

Defense Attorney Randy Paragas, who is not affiliated with the case, says that would spark his interest if the Blanchard murder shows no evidence against the suspect.

“Remembering always that the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, well that's reasonable doubt. If you've got a similar murder with a similar M.O. and no reason to believe that the defendant in this case was connected in any way to that murder, that's reasonable doubt,” Paragas explained.

Monday afternoon, Digital Forensic Analyst Nick Herfordt testified to searches that were done on Garcia's iPhone and Samsung tablet.

Ofc. Herfordt testifies that multiple searches for “Chhanda Bewtra”, “601 N. 30th St. 68131” which is the Creighton address, and Chhanda's daughter “Aruna Bewtra” were made on Garcia's tablet on May 10.  That’s two days before the Brumbacks were murdered.

Ofc. Herfordt says between 2:56p - 4:49pm on May 12, a search for “Roger Brumback” was made on Garcia's iPhone which is half an hour after the Bewtra's alarm went off.  Herfordt testified he also found a search for “Shall I not revenge?” on the phone as well.

The defense argued the method that Ofc. Herfordt extracted the data off the phone.  He said he put the iCloud data on one of his old iPhones that he wiped.  Defense Attorney Jeremy Jorgenson asked if that was against protocol, but Herfordt didn’t know.