A doctor accused of a serial killing was back in court Thursday – renewing his request that prosecutors turn over reports on evidence in the case against him.
Dr. Anthony Garcia walked into court head down. Noticeably thinner, he sported a full bushy beard and filled his attorney's ear – talking to him through much of the hearing as Judge Duane Dougherty ensured that prosecutors were continuing to turn over reports in the case.
After the routine hearing, his attorney Bob Motta suggested that the defense will have plenty to investigate as far as other suspects in the killings.
Prosecutors say Garcia, miffed about his continual inability to get jobs or medical licenses, killed Dr. Roger Brumback and his wife, Mary, both 65, in their Omaha home on Mother's Day.
They also allege that Garcia killed the family house cleaner and son of his other former boss in the Creighton University Medical Center pathology department, Dr. William Hunter. Eleven-year-old Thomas Hunter and Shirlee Sherman, 57, were stabbed to death in March 2008 in the Hunters' Dundee home.
Sherman's relatives filed into the first and second row of the courtroom Thursday.
Motta said his client is in a "much better state mentally" than he was when he was arrested.
"At this point, he's getting a little feisty," Motta said. "At first he was stunned (at his arrest). Now he's angry."
Motta said the defense is awaiting reports, and it will launch "a major investigation" when it gets them. Among the people Motta is interested in: another former pathology student who was dismissed from the program and eventually became a disgraced medical examiner in Canada.
Motta acknowledged that prosecutors have locked on Garcia because of evidence he was in Omaha on Mother's Day. Convenience store surveillance cameras and credit card bills place Garcia in Omaha the day the Brumbacks were believed to have died. Plus, Garcia's cell phone had Internet searches for the Brumbacks' address.
And, prosecutors say, his DNA profile was found on the door of Dr. Chhanda Bewtra, another Creighton pathologist with whom he had run-ins. Bewtra's house was broken into on Mother's Day, but she was not home.