Mauricio Torres – Latino, age 44

Sentenced in Benton County, Arkansas
By: a jury
Date of Crime: 3/30/15
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Mauricio and his wife, Cathy Torres, took their 6-year-old son, Isaiah, and his two older sisters on a camping trip. Mauricio found Isaiah eating cake without permission so Mauricio punished him by pushing a stick into his anus and making him do squats. Then Cathy was mad because Isaiah was not going fast enough so she pushed him. The parents did not realize Isaiah was seriously injured until they arrived home from their weekend trip and they called 911 that night. The medics found Isaiah unresponsive. The autopsy showed that the death resulted from septic shock, which was caused by a bacterial infection. The autopsy also showed chronic child abuse. Prosecutors had to convince the jury that the injury was considered rape and/or that Mauricio “knowingly caused” the death of his child in order to get a capital murder conviction. The defense tried to convince the jury of a lesser included offense of first-degree murder. Three former stepchildren and two biological children of Mauricio testified that they had all suffered chronic abuse including both physical and sexual abuse.
Sources: Arkansas Times 11/23/16 (2016 WLNR 35941803), Arkansas Democrat Gazette 11/16/16 (2016 WLNR 35143654)