News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

July 24, 2013

Terre Haute doctor denied bond in 4 Nebraska slayings

Anthony Garcia on suicide watch

OMAHA, Neb. — A Nebraska judge denied bond Tuesday to an Indiana doctor charged in the killing of four people with ties to an Omaha medical school that fired him from a residency program more than a decade ago.

Dr. Anthony Garcia appeared in the Omaha courtroom wearing a yellow jumpsuit and with his hands and feet shackled. Observers watched the hearing from behind a window in a guarded room at the back of the court.

Garcia faces four counts of first-degree murder and four weapons charges. He is accused of killing Creighton University pathologist Roger Brumback and his wife, Mary, in May at their home.

Garcia also is accused in the 2008 killings of 11-year-old Thomas Hunter, whose father William worked at the university, and his family’s housekeeper, Shirlee Sherman.

Several observers who arrived at the courthouse wearing T-shirts that read “Shirlee Sherman” were told to remove the shirts or turn them inside out before entering the observation room. They declined to speak to reporters, but several audibly gasped or snorted derisively when one of Garcia’s lawyers said prosecutors lacked evidence to support the charges.

“It’s circumstantial and thinly veiled,” Chicago attorney Alison Motta told the court.

Police and prosecutors contend that Garcia was motivated by revenge in the killings. Roger Brumback and William Hunter had been instrumental in firing Garcia from the Creighton pathology program in 2001. Both men subsequently sent letters to state medical licensing boards that prevented Garcia from becoming licensed in Louisiana, Indiana, Texas and California and from finishing other residency programs.

The judge said Tuesday there was enough evidence to hold Garcia, of Terre Haute, Ind., without bail.

An arrest affidavit says investigators noticed similar stab wounds on all four victims, and that parts of a gun found at the Brumbacks’ home matched the model of handgun that Garcia bought in Indiana in March.

Another Creighton Pathology doctor, Chhanda Bewtra, said that someone tried to break into her Omaha home — but was apparently thwarted by the alarm — the day the Brumbacks were killed.

“Part of me doesn’t want to believe it was him,” Bewtra told the Omaha World-Herald for its Tuesday editions. “But the coincidence is very strong.”

Nothing was taken from her house, and Bewtra did not immediately call the police, she told The Associated Press on Tuesday. She called police several days later after learning of the Brumbacks’ deaths and discussing the break-in with colleagues.

“It was disconcerting,” she said. “I was very grateful [we weren’t home]. It would be very disturbing otherwise.”

Motta complained that the Omaha jail where Garcia was being held was hindering their work together and that guards’ insistence that they keep Garcia in sight at all times could be a breach of attorney-client privilege.

“Our conversations — the sound echoes and reverberates. We have no access to hand him documents,” Motta said.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said he would talk to jail staff about those issues and indicated the suspect was on suicide watch.

“They want to make sure he doesn’t harm himself,” Kleine said.

Jail director Mark Foxall declined to say if Garcia was on suicide watch, but said the yellow jumpsuit he wore Tuesday showed “he’s being held away from the general population.”

Garcia was arrested in Illinois last week and extradited to Omaha.

Nebraska prosecutors are weighing whether to seek the death penalty against Garcia. A conviction of first-degree murder in Nebraska brings a minimum sentence of life in prison without parole.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Today in History for April 18th Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign
NDN Video
Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity