Fox 24’s Channing Barker reports by Twitter that a Benton County jury has sentenced Mauricio Torres to die for the capital murder of his six-year-old son, Isaiah. He also received a 20-year sentence for a first-degree battery conviction.
A jury convicted Torres Monday. It deliberated today on punishment — a choice between life without parole and death — after hearing arguments from defense and prosecution.
The jury heard testimony about chronic abuse and sex crimes in the home from other children and stepchildren.
Though a judge will pronounce an execution date, capital cases come with mandatory reviews in Arkansas and the death penalty process is hung up in a legal battle over the drugs used in the lethal injection process. The last execution in Arkansas was in 2005. Torres joins 34 other men on Death Row. His wife, Cathy Torres, is also awaiting trial in the case.
The Times has followed this case because we learned of multiple reports of abuse of children in the home. They had three more children after parental rights were terminated in other cases.
Testimony in this case was that the child was subjected to a prolonged period of abuse and fatally injured by insertion of a stick into his anus, which led to acute peritonitis and septic shock.