Sentencing for Arkansas dad who was convicted of raping his son, 6, to death with a stick ends with judge to declaring a mistrial for the entire case
Judge on Thursday declared mistrial in the second capital murder trial of Mauricio Torres, convicted of raping to death his six-year-old son with a stick
Torres, 50, had been convicted in 2016 and sentenced to the death for the 2015 death of his son Maurice Isaiah Torres who he sodomized with a stick
The sentence was overturned by the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2019 because the crime happened in Missouri
The retrial had concluded Wednesday, and Torres was found guilty of capital murder and battery during his retrial in the 2015 death of Isaiah Torres.
The courtroom histrionics of Torres’ stepson Quinton Martin, 24, who charged at him in courtroom after being asked about sexual abuse ended with the who case being declared a mistrial
Prosecutor proposed having Martin testify again and instructing jurors to disregard his earlier outburst, but defense argued the jurors could not unsee the ‘violent attack’
Citing the ‘look of shock on jurors’ faces’, the Judge sided with defense, and declared a mistrial
Both sides are scheduled to appear before the judge in two weeks, when the prosecution is expected to make a case for upholding Torres’ conviction
Courtroom chaos forced an Arkansas judge on Thursday declared a mistrial in the capital murder case of Mauricio Torres, seen [wearing regulation uniform], after his attorneys argued that what the jurors saw ‘cannot be unseen.’
An Arkansas judge on Thursday shut down the capital murder case of Mauricio Torres after his other son charged at him while testifying at his sentencing hearing.
The adult stepson of the Arkansas dad who was convicted 4 years ago, convicted of raping his six-year-old son to death with a stick lunged at the defendant while testifying during the sentencing phase of his capital murder trial Thursday, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial for the entire case.
Quinton Martin, 24, had told the jury that Mauricio Torres, 50, had physically abused him as a child on a daily basis and jumped up from the witness stand after a prosecutor asked about sexual abuse, KHOG-TV reported.
Quinton Martin, who is in prison on drug possession charges, despite wearing shackles on his legs. leaped over a court reporter and made a 15 to 20-foot dash toward the bench where Torres and his attorneys sat.
The defense team were forced to flip the table where they were sitting on its side to block his path.
On Wednesday, Torres was found guilty of capital murder and battery during his retrial in the 2015 death of Isaiah Torres.
The drama unfolded at the sentencing hearing – The jury was presented with evidence to decide whether Torres gets the death penalty of life without the possibility of parole.
Courtroom Drama: Mauricio Torres [left], came under attack in the courtroom from his stepson, Quinton Martin, 24 [right],who charged at him at the mention of sexual abuse, while testifying at Torres’ sentencing hearing for the murder of his six-year-old son, five years ago
A day earlier, a jury found Mauricio Torres guilty of raping to death his six-year-old son, Maurice Isaiah Torres [photo]. Six-year-old Isaiah developed a bacterial infection and died of septic shock within hours of being raped with a stick by his own father in 2015
Law enforcement officers present in the courtroom then held the Quinton down as he cried and screamed.
It was not clear if Martin had been sexually assaulted at the hands of his stepfather as a child.
Following the dramatic courtroom outburst, Torres’ defense lawyer Jeff Rosenzweig asked the presiding judge to declare a mistrial, arguing that what the jurors saw ‘cannot be unseen.’
In arguing for a mistrial, Rosenzweig characterized what happened in court that morning as an ‘extraordinary, violent attack’ the likes of which he had never seen in more than 40 years of practicing law, reported KNWA.
After clearing the courtroom and reviewing surveillance video of the incident and relevant case law, Judge Brad Karen granted the motion for a complete mistrial, citing the ‘shock on the jurors’ faces’ when Martin lunged at his stepfather.
The prosecution will have a chance to appear before the judge on March 19 and make an argument for upholding the conviction.
Mauricio Torres’ 2016 conviction and death sentence were overturned by the Arkansas Supreme Court in April 2019, when the panel ruled 4-3 that Arkansas authorities couldn’t use rape as a justification for the murder conviction because the assault occurred in Missouri
Smith also suggested bringing in a new jury for the sentencing phase, and presenting to them the same evidence and witnesses that were presented to the first jury, before deciding on a death sentence or life in prison without parole for Torres.
Mauricio Torres’ retrial had concluded Wednesday, and Torres was found guilty of capital murder and battery during his retrial in the 2015 death of Maurice Isaiah Torres.
Defense attorneys have said their client’s actions were intended as punishment for eating a piece of cake without permission during a camping trip to Missouri, and the father didn’t know they could kill the boy.
Maurice Isaiah Torres died March 30, 2015, at a Bella Vista hospital. A medical examiner said death was caused by a bacterial infection as a result of being sodomized with a stick. The medical examiner also said chronic child abuse contributed to Isaiah’s death.
Killer dad, Mauricio Torres seen [in his 2015 mugshot], is alleged to have sodomized his son Isaiah with a stick on a camping trip to Missouri as a punishment for eating a piece of cake without permission
Medical examiner said that little Isaiah’s death was caused by a bacterial infection resulting from being sodomized with a stick and chronic child abuse
Cathy Lynn Torres will spend the rest of her life in prison for her role in the misery inflicted on of her 6-year-old son while he was alive
During Mauricio Torres’ trial, jurors heard that he and his wife would allegedly beat their son with cables and shoes and gave him coal in his stocking at Christmas, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
Isaiah’s 12-year-old sister has testified to witnessing her parents pulling her brother’s teeth with pliers and making him sleep in a dog cage. Adding that her younger brother was forced to stay in a large trash can for a month while she would often act as guard so he wouldn’t escape to eat food.
She told the court she witnessed her father beating him with a stick – and he also made her and her twin sister beat him too.
The sister also told jurors she remembered her mother pouring bleach over her brother while her father scrubbed his skin.
In March 2015, the boy was said to have been forced to squat while the stick was in his rectum and his mother Cathy injured him further by pushing him to the ground with it inside him.