After many delays, a jury was selected and opening statements are underway Monday in the trial of Antolin Garcia-Torres, who's accused of killing Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar.
On Monday the man centered around her death is finally having his day in court. Garcia-Torres is charged with the kidnapping and killing of Sierra in March of 2012.
The then 15-year-old girl was last seen heading to catch a bus to school.
Her disappearance sparked numerous searches by hundreds of people, yet her body was never found. However investigators say they located some of her belongings including her cell phone and the pants she was wearing the day she went missing.
Sierra's older sister and parents were seated in the front row of the courthouse Monday. Garcia-Torres appeared in court clean-shaven and dressed in a gray sweater.
Can hear sniffles in the courtroom. Sierra's mother, sister holding tissues. Sierra's father keeping head down. #ktvu— Azenith Smith (@AzenithKTVU) January 30, 2017
Garcia-Torres has been in custody since he was arrested in May of 2012 when investigators say they found DNA evidence connecting him to her disappearance.
Without her body prosecutors have a tough road ahead if they hope to get a murder conviction.
Garcia-Torres claims he never met Sierra and has pleaded not guilty. It's being reported that the defense attorneys may argue that she may not even be dead.
The trial has been delayed many times, as defense attorneys asked for more time to prepare, and go over hundreds of pages of court documents submitted by prosecutors. The trial is expected to last several months..
If convicted Garcia-Torres could be sentenced to death.
Garcia-Torres also faces three charges of attempted kidnapping of three other women in 2009.