In this photo from a video monitor at the Union County Courthouse in Jonesboro,… (Paul Newton / Associated…)
An Indiana doctor will be extradited to Nebraska to face murder charges in the killings of three adults and an 11-year-old boy, which authorities have described as retaliation to his firing from an Omaha medical school in 2001.
Illinois State Police arrested Anthony Garcia during a traffic stop on Monday. He had a .45-caliber gun and appeared to be intoxicated, police said.
An Omaha police task force linked Garcia to the May killings of Creighton University pathology professor Roger Brumback and his wife, Mary. Garcia is also accused in the 2008 stabbing deaths of 11-year-old Thomas Hunter, the son of another professor, and Shirlee Sherman, the Hunter family housekeeper.
During a brief court hearing Wednesday morning, Garcia, who is being held without bond, waived his extradition in southern Illinois and will return to Omaha to stand trial. The 40-year-old Terre Haute, Ind., resident faces four counts of first-degree murder, three counts of use of a weapon to commit a felony and one count of use of a firearm to commit a felony.
“At this point in our investigation, we are led to believe that he committed these murders alone and we are investigating the history of Dr. Garcia," Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said at a news conference this week, telling reporters that Garcia “does fit the elements of a serial killer.”
Brumback and William Hunter, Thomas Hunter’s father, fired Garcia from his residency at Omaha's Creighton University in 2001 for erratic behavior, Schmaderer said.
Former colleagues described Garcia as quiet and professional -- not someone who displayed a clear pattern of troubling behavior.
"I did not see any indications that he was capable of [this]. I did not see anything like that," Dr. Vladimir Vidanovic, a UIC assistant professor of clinical pathology who was in the same resident class as Garcia at UIC, told the Chicago Tribune.
His medical record, however, pointed to frustration professionally. Garcia failed to complete medical residencies in at least four states.
He received an Illinois license in 2003. A spokeswoman for the state regulatory agency, the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, said he had no disciplinary issues in Illinois.
Garcia's parents, who live in Walnut, Calif., declined to comment. Alison Motta, an attorney for Garcia, said: “The family believes strongly in his innocence and that he has not done what he’s being charged with, and they fully stand behind him.”
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