Wednesday 18 October 2017

'Killer' doctor rejected by states

Dr Anthony Garcia, 40, was arrested on suspicion of killing four people (AP/Omaha Police Department)
Dr Anthony Garcia, 40, was arrested on suspicion of killing four people (AP/Omaha Police Department)

An Indiana doctor accused of killing four people with ties to a Nebraska medical school that sacked him was denied licences in at least two states after his dismissal more than a decade ago.

Authorities have not disclosed a motive for the killings, except to note the sacking. But documents show that the dismissal from Creighton University for erratic behaviour in 2001 had long-lasting effects on Anthony Garcia's career. The killings took place in two separate attacks five years apart.

Garcia, 40, who appeared before an Illinois judge on Tuesday, is accused of killing a pathology professor and his wife earlier this year, as well as the 2008 stabbings of another professor's young son and housekeeper in a neighbourhood near the home of billionaire Warren Buffett.

Documents provided by an Indiana medical licensing board show Garcia was denied a licence in Louisiana a month before the 2008 killings. The May killings occurred within months of Garcia being denied an Indiana licence.

Garcia, who now lives in Terre Haute, Indiana, was arrested by Illinois State Police on Monday during a traffic stop in Union County, southern Illinois. The arrest came two months after Creighton professor Roger Brumback was shot dead and his wife stabbed to death in their home. In 2008, the 11-year-old son of another pathology professor, William Hunter, and his housekeeper were stabbed to death in an affluent Omaha neighbourhood.

Prof Brumback and Prof Hunter sacked Garcia. Neither police nor Creighton officials have described the behaviour that led to the dismissal, but a letter sent by Prof Brumback in January to the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency said Garcia was fired after attempting to sabotage a fellow Creighton resident.

Garcia left a previous residency to avoid a disciplinary hearing for shouting at a radiology resident. He was sacked from subsequent residence programmes after failing to obtain a medical licence because he omitted problems at earlier programmes.

Detectives had few leads in the first killings. Thomas Hunter and the housekeeper, Shirlee Sherman, were probably not the intended targets of the 2008 attack and investigators believe Garcia acted alone, Omaha police chief Todd Schmaderer said. Witnesses reported seeing a well-dressed, olive-skinned man parking a Honda CR-V about a block from the Hunter home and walking up to the door with a case of some type.

When he was arrested, Garcia appeared to be intoxicated and had a .45-calibre handgun, police said. Garcia appeared in court in Jonesboro, Illinois, about 120 miles south east of St Louis. A judge deferred questions about any possible extradition to Nebraska until Garcia conferred with a lawyer, according to a report by the Southern Illinoisan newspaper in Carbondale. Another court hearing was scheduled for today.

Court records show Garcia filed for bankruptcy in 2005, saying he was more than 81,000 dollars in debt. The only assets he listed were about 1,000 dollars in cash and a 2000 Honda CR-V.

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