Judge rules doctor to be tried for alleged Omaha revenge killings

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 14, 2013 4:32 PM

By Katie Schubert

OMAHA, Nebraska (Reuters) - An Omaha judge ruled on Wednesday that there was enough evidence to allow a doctor to stand trial for four murders that police say were acts of revenge over his firing from a residency program in 2001.

Dr. Anthony J. Garcia, 40, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Dr. Roger Brumback and his wife, Mary, in May, as well as the 2008 killings of 11-year-old Thomas Hunter and his family's housekeeper, Shirlee Sherman, in 2008.

During a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, Omaha Police Officer Derek Mois testified before Douglas County District Court Judge Darryl Lowe about the crime scenes and the evidence investigators say links Garcia to Omaha at the times of the killings.

Mois testified the stab wounds on all four victims had a similar pattern. Roger Brumback died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen and also was stabbed.

Garcia, who remains in custody, was arrested July 15 in southern Illinois by the Illinois State Police and FBI agents from the Omaha office.

Police say the killings were acts of revenge against Brumback and another Creighton University doctor, Dr. William Hunter, who fired him from a pathology residency in 2001 for unprofessional conduct. Thomas Hunter was William Hunter's son.

An affidavit unsealed last month showed receipts, eyewitness accounts, cell phone records, and evidence at the Brumbacks' home connected Garcia to Omaha at the times of the killings.

According to the affidavit and records, Garcia applied for an Indiana medical license in 2008 and in 2012. Indiana denied his requests. Records released by the Indiana medical board from those applications show he failed to complete residencies in New York, Illinois and Louisiana in addition to Nebraska.

He was suspended from a New York residency for yelling at a radiology technician, then withdrew from the program in 1999. He also withdrew from an Illinois residency, citing migraine headaches.

(Reporting by Katie Schubert; Editing by Mary Wisniewski, Greg McCune and Andre Grenon)