BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Fifty-one-year-old Mauricio Torres will have a third trial for the 2016 death of his 6-year-old son on January 31, 2022, and a pre-trial hearing on January 14, 2022.
Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren will preside over the trial.
Torres is the Bella Vista man twice convicted of killing his six-year-old son, Isaiah.
Torres was convicted in 2016 and sentenced to death, but that was overturned by the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2019.
The State retried Torres, and on March 5, 2020, a Benton County jury again found Torres guilty on both charges.
During the sentencing phase of the trial, a witness, Torres’ stepson Quinton Martin, lunged toward Torres in an apparent effort to assault him or his attorneys. Torres’ counsel moved for “a mistrial of this sentencing phase” and “of the sentencing proceeding.”
On March 6, 2020, Benton County Circuit Court Judge Brad Karren ultimately declared a mistrial to both the guilt and penalty phases of the trial.
On April 20, 2020, the State of Arkansas filed a writ of certiorari asking that only the sentencing phase be tried, and keeping the guilty verdict.
On February 11, 2020, the state’s high court denied the request and ruled that the same jury must be used for both the guilt and sentencing phase.
1ST CONVICTION OVERTURNED IN 2019
November 2016, Torres, a Bella Vista resident, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for the killing of his 6-year-old son, Isaiah Torres. The sexual assault happened while Torres, his wife, Cathy, and daughters, were camping in Missouri. The child died a day later in Arkansas. The Arkansas Supreme Court overturned the decision, 4-3, in April 2019, because the rape happened in Missouri and prosecutors could not justify a murder conviction in Arkansas.
Torres is in custody at the Benton County Jail and is held on no bond.
CATHY TORRES SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON, NO PAROLE
In 2017, Torres’ wife, Cathy, pleaded guilty to capital murder and battery — to avoid the death penalty. She is incarcerated at the McPherson Unit in Jackson County, Arkansas, serving life without parole.