Murder suspect faces 50-years to life in prison after guilty verdict at trial
SANTA CLARA COUNTY – According to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, on Wednesday, February 11, a San Jose man was convicted of the first-degree murder of his wife, which occurred in 2011, while a second man is set to face the death penalty for the kidnapping and murder of a young high school girl that occurred in March of 2012.
A jury found 26-year-old Marcus Casillas guilty of the slaying of Valerie Calderon Casillas, whose body was found in remote ravine.
Before the homicide had occurred, Casillas was convicted of felony domestic violence against his wife several years prior. Then on Oct 2, 2011, Valerie left with her estranged husband while she was living at a relative’s home, however she never returned. After three days, county workers clearing brush in the hills off of Sierra Road near Milpitas found the 29-year-old mother’s body tossed into a 15-foot deep ravine. She had been shot eight times by Marcus Casillas, according to the findings of the jury.
Casillas had been arrested several times previous to these incidents, on charges of possession of a controlled narcotic substance, petty theft, grand theft, and assault.
Casillas is scheduled to be sentenced by the Honorable Ron Del Pozzo on March 6, 2015 at 9:00 AM in Department 40 at the Hall of Justice in San Jose. Casillas is facing 50 years-to-life in prison for the shooting death of his wife. Prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Matt Braker said, “This case serves as another tragic reminder that domestic violence in a relationship cannot be ignored and can turn lethal very quickly.”
A court hearing held for another murder suspect, Antolin Garcia-Torres, was held on Wednesday, February 25, in Dept 24 in front of the Honorable Deborah Ryan. Torres faces the death penalty for the kidnapping and murder of Sierra Lamar, who went missing several blocks from her home while walking to the school bus in Morgan Hill.
According to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney David Boyd, any information from the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department, including investigative evidence provided to the Defendant and Prosecuting attorney’s in this case, is not available to the public through a public records request, despite an outcry by Friends of Sierra Lamar, who wish to learn more information on the whereabouts of Lamar’s body.
Torres appeared in court wearing a brown Khaki suit with a light yellow shirt and brown tie. A motion filed on behalf of the Defendant requested that Torres appear without restraints on his hands and feet when appearing before the court. The current motion was delayed for six weeks in which any motions, and, or a final review of evidentiary findings could be discussed prior to setting a trial date. The next court date has been scheduled on April 8, 2015 in Dept 24 at 1:30 PM.
Read More: CrimeVoice (2012) – Arrest made in Sierra Lamar missing girl case