Judge Gary Randall has ordered Douglas County to pay $25K for expert testimony in defense of Anthony Garcia.
Anthony Garcia is charged in the 2008 murders of Thomas Hunter and Shirlee Sherman and the 2013 murders of Dr. Roger and Mary Brumback.
On March 13, 2008, Dr. Bill Hunter drove home from work and noticed his housekeeper’s car still parked at his house. He was surprised because she was usually gone by the time he got home from work. When Hunter walked into the house he found his housekeeper, Shirlee Sherman, face down on the floor with a knife in her back. He immediately ran through the house, looking for his son. He found him, face down in the dining room with a knife in his neck.
Sherman had 18 cuts to her neck and a bruise to her forehead. Thomas Hunter had almost 10 wounds on his neck, severing his jugular veins and carotid arteries on both sides.
In May 2013, a piano moving company went to the Brumback house to pick up the Brumbacks’ piano for their move. The company owner, Jason Peterson, found the Brumbacks’ front door cracked open. When no one answered his knocks or calls, he peered into the open front door and saw the magazine of a handgun lying on the floor. Peterson called 911.
The responding police officers found Roger Brumback face down in a pool of blood. He had been shot in the shoulder and stomach and stabbed in the neck. They found Mary Brumback in the next room, also dead from knife wounds.
Because of the similarities in the two events, investigators began to look at people who had connections with the victims in both crimes. Because Thomas Hunter’s father, Dr. Bill Hunter worked with Dr. Roger Brumback at the same office in Creighton University’s pathology department, investigators began to look into students who had been terminated or disciplined. Garcia was one of the few students that fit that description.
Electronics that were confiscated from Garcia’s home showed that he searched for the home addresses of his former supervisors, Dr. Brumback and Dr. Chanda Bewtra on May 12, 2013. Additionally, a stripper at a club that Garcia frequented told police that Garcia admitted to killing “a small boy and an old lady.”
Garcia was charged with the murders of the Brumbacks, Sherman, and Hunter.
Prosecutors allege that Garcia killed the four as revenge for Dr. Brumback and Dr. William Hunter firing Garcia from the Creighton University Medical Center in 2001.
Lack of Funds For Defense Experts
As Garcia’s trial began, his attorney argued that he did not have funds to pay for the expert witnesses that would be necessary to Garcia’s defense. Garcia signed an affidavit that declared himself to be indigent. Douglas County District Court Judge Gary Randall ruled that Garcia could not help pay for his own defense and ordered Douglas County to pay $25,000 for expert witnesses to testify on Garcia’s behalf. The money will be put into a trust account held by Garcia’s attorneys, who will have to document all related expenses.
Update on the Case
Anthony Garcia was found guilty on all counts.