Father, 50, who's been found guilty twice of raping his son, 6, to death with a stick will face a third trial after one conviction was overturned and second case ended in mistrial

 An Arkansas father twice found guilty of raping and killing his six-year-old son will face a third trial in the case, after his most recent case ended in a mistrial over a courtroom clash and the first conviction was overturned. 

Mauricio Torres, 50, was initially convicted of capital murder and battery in November 2016 in the death of Isiah Torres, but the Arkansas Supreme Court threw out that ruling in 2019, saying authorities could not use rape as a justification for the murder conviction. 

Torres was convicted again, but a Benton County circuit judge declared a mistrial during the sentencing phase in March 2020 after Torres' stepson jumped from the witness box and lunged at him.

Mauricio Torres, 50
Isaiah Torres

The Arkansas Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for Mauricio Torres, 50 (left), for the rape and murder of his son, Isaiah Torres (right) in 2015

The state attorney general's office appealed, saying the 2020 guilty verdict should stand but that a third jury could decide Torres' punishment. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.


On Thursday, the Arkansas Supreme Court rejected that appeal and ordered a new trial, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge called the latest ruling heartbreaking.

'Mauricio Torres has been convicted twice of the brutal murder of his son, but this decision means Isaiah's loved ones and the entire community will have to endure a third devastating trial,' she said. 'I will do everything in my power to bring justice for Isaiah.'

Veda Berger, senior assistant attorney general, told the Supreme Court that Judge Brad Karren made a mistake granting a mistrial in the guilty phase for an incident that happened during sentencing.


Torres' second trial in 2020 ended in a mistrial during sentencing after his stepson tried to attack him in the courtroom (pictured in June 2019)

Torres' second trial in 2020 ended in a mistrial during sentencing after his stepson tried to attack him in the courtroom (pictured in June 2019)

Justice Shawn Womack, the only dissenting justice, agreed, stating what happened during the sentencing phase had no bearing on the phase of Torres' trial that decided his guilt.

But the remaining six high court justices found Karren didn't commit an error and didn't exceed his jurisdiction

Torres' stepson, Quinton Martin, 24, was testifying in March 2020 about his own physical abuse at the hands of his father when he jumped from the witness stand, leaped over a court reporter and made a dash toward Torres and his lawyers, who flipped over the defense table to block his path. 

Following the courtroom outburst, Torres' defense lawyer Jeff Rosenzweig asked the presiding judge to declare a mistrial, arguing that what the jurors saw 'cannot be unseen.' 

Quinton Martin, 24, was testifying in March 2020 about his own physical abuse at the hands of his stepfather, Torres, when he lunged at him
Torres is pictured in a 2015 mugshot

Quinton Martin, 24 (left), was testifying in March 2020 about his own physical abuse at the hands of his stepfather, Torres, when he lunged at him. Torres is pictured in a 2015 mugshot

After clearing the courtroom and reviewing surveillance video of the incident and relevant case law, Judge Karren granted the motion for a complete mistrial, citing the 'shock on the jurors' faces' when Martin lunged at his stepfather.

Torres' 2016 conviction and death sentence were overturned by the Arkansas Supreme Court, which ruled 4-3 in April 2019 that Arkansas authorities couldn't use rape as a justification for the murder conviction because the assault occurred in Missouri. Torres' son died at an Arkansas hospital a day after the assault.

Torres' attorneys have said his actions, which included inserting a stick into his son's rectum, 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.

Isaiah died in 2015 after prosecutors say his father raped him with a stick as punishment for eating a piece of cake

Isaiah died in 2015 after prosecutors say his father raped him with a stick as punishment for eating a piece of cake

A medical examiner testified that the boy's death was caused by a bacterial infection resulting from sodomy and chronic child abuse.

Torres was being held without bail in the Benton County jail, pending a March 12 status hearing. Karren issued a gag order prohibiting attorneys from commenting on the case.

Torres' wife, Cathy, pleaded guilty in 2017 to capital murder for the child's death and was sentenced to life without parole. 

Father, 50, who's been found guilty twice of raping his son, 6, to death with a stick will face a third trial after one conviction was overturned and second case ended in mistrial Father, 50, who's been found guilty twice of raping his son, 6, to death with a stick will face a third trial after one conviction was overturned and second case ended in mistrial Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 08:20 Rating: 5

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