Mauricio Alejandro Torres had been sentenced to death in Arkansas — but it was overturned because the alleged assault happened on a camping trip in Missouri.
A father who was sentenced to death over fatally sodomizing his six-year-old with a stick has begun a new trial over a technicality.
Mauricio Alejandro Torres, 50, was convicted in his native Arkansas last year — but the conviction was overturned because the alleged assault occurred on a family camping trip to Missouri.
According to state law, death penalty convictions can only be handed down for crimes that occur in that state, meaning the family of Isaiah Torres must now go through a whole new trial. His mother Cathy is already serving a life sentence for her part in his murder.
Isaiah died in March of 2015; a medical examiner at the first 2016 trial testified that his death was caused by a bacterial infection resulting from sodomy.
During opening statements at the new trial on Thursday, Benton County Prosecutor Nathan Smith told jurors Torres had taken the child into a camper, pulled his pants down and shoved a stick into his rectum, releasing the contents of his rectum into his stomach, causing peritonitis which led to a fatal infection, KNWA reported.
Torres once again faces charges of capital murder and second-degree battery — if found guilty of the murder again, he could be jailed for life or put to death; the prosecution is seeking the latter. If found guilty of battery alone, he faces five to 20 years in prison. He has pled not guilty to both.
At the first trial, Isaiah's then nine-year-old sister testified she had seen her brother naked with his hands and feet tied in the bathroom on the day he died, as punishment for eating cake, Arkansas Online reported. She said she saw her dad use the stick on her brother.
She told the court she had seen her dad hit her brother numerous times with a stick and a cable before; that he had forced him to sleep in a cage, and once made him spend the night in a trash can in the bathroom.
She said her brother had also been forced to eat feces and drink urine, and said she witnessed her parents pour bleach on him, causing burns that had to be treated at hospital.
Isaiah's mother is listed as a witness for both prosecution and defense.