Antolin Garcia-Torres, the Morgan Hill resident suspected of kidnapping and murdering Sierra LaMar, will no longer be represented by public defender Ken Mandel.
The Santa Clara County Public Defender Office declared a conflict of interest with Garcia-Torres, which was approved by Judge Jerome Nadler in department 23 of the Hall of Justice on Thursday morning, according to Alternate Public Defender David Epps.
Epps said Nadler appointed the Alternate Public Defender Office to Garcia-Torres’ case, and that they’ll be responsible for finding a new public defender to represent the 21-year-old Morgan Hill resident.
“I’ll have to find someone [to represent Garcia-Torres],” Epps said. “But I just don't have enough information to make this call because the court just appointed our office to represent Garcia-Torres this morning.”
The Alternate Public Defender Office handles cases when a public defender declares a conflict of interest, Epps said.
Epps did not know what the conflict of interest was regarding, and said Mandel does not need to disclose that information.
Nadler pushed back Garcia Torres' next court appearance from July 10 to July 31 after approving the Office of the Public Defender’s request Thursday morning.