Convicted killer Anthony Garcia sentenced to death
Convicted killer Anthony Garcia has been sentenced to death. That word came during an emotional afternoon in court Friday in which one of the judges involved in the case had to leave the courtroom.
The sentencing of Garcia came to an abrupt halt as Judge Gary Randall, reviewing the case prior to sentence, paused, and stepped away from the bench saying he was in pain. "I apologize," the judge said as he left the courtoom.
Randall appeared moments away from issuing sentencing but stepped away from bench. He said it wasn't nerves, but pain. His breathing was labored for the last few minutes as he read.
Medics were called. They wheeled Judge Randall from the courtroom.
After a delay, the remaining two judges from the three-judge panel resumed the proceedings. District Judge Rick Schreiner of Beatrice was on the bench.
The sentencing order was already written. Both of the other two judges involved Friday served on the 3-Judge panel.
Judge Schreiner finished the panel's work sentencing Garcia to death.
Garcia was found guilty of murdering Dr. Roger Brumback, his wife Mary, 11-year old Thomas Hunter and the Hunters’ housekeeper Shirlee Sherman.
In June, the three-judge panel heard from the defense and prosecutors on why Garcia should or should not be given the death penalty.
Garcia sat through the hearings unresponsive with his eyes closed as his lawyers presented a defense of mental illness.
In October, 2016, a Douglas County jury convicted Garcia on all counts including four counts of First Degree Murder.
The jury weighed weeks of testimony about the 2008 deaths of Thomas Hunter and Shirlee Sherman as well as the 2013 deaths of Dr. Roger Brumback and Mary Brumback.
Prior to sentencing Friday, Bradley Waite, Shirlee Sherman's brother said, "Today will not be the last chapter, we know that." He said, "We'll get a sigh of relief upon his death. And the sooner the better."
Jeff Sherman, Shirlee Sherman's son, said, "Mr. Garcia doesn't deserve my forgiveness."
Daniel Waite, Shirley's brother, said, "The facts were pretty clean to me throughout." He said, "The images of the murders that we witnessed during court were indelible."