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Jury deliberation begins in 3rd trial against Mauricio Torres

The third trial for Mauricio Torres, a man accused of murdering his 6-year-old son, has now began jury deliberation.

BENTON COUNTY, ARKANSAS, Ark. — Mauricio Torres' third capital murder trial for the death of his six-year-old son began on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 8:30 a.m. 

The trial comes after the Arkansas Supreme Court had dismissed the Benton County Circuit Court's petition to uphold Mauricio Torres' guilty conviction in his son's death.

Investigators say Torres used a stick to sexually assault his son while the family was camping in Missouri in 2015. The boy died at an Arkansas hospital a day after the assault.

First trial

On November 15, 2016, Torres was convicted of capital murder and first-degree battery in the death of his six-year-old son Maurice "Isaiah" Torres by a Benton County jury.  

He was sentenced to death for Isaiah's murder, faced twenty years of imprisonment and was ordered to pay a fine for the battery charge. 

Torress appealed the sentencing, and the Arkansas Supreme Court reversed the Benton County court's decision based on the assault happening in Missouri. 

A new trial date was set for January 2020.

Second trial

On March 5, 2020, A Benton County jury again found Torres guilty of capital murder and first-degree battery in Isaiah's death.

During the penalty phase of his second trial, Torres' adult stepson Quentin Martin was called as a witness. 

When asked if Torres had sexually abused him as a child, Martin leaped out of the witness box and lunged toward Torres and his attorneys. During the scuffle with court personnel, a table was overturned, papers were scattered across the courtroom, and jurors were instructed to move to the jury room.

Following a recess, the Benton County Circuit Court announced that it would declare a mistrial and that the mistrial would cover both the trial's guilt and penalty phases. Torres' defense team accepted the mistrial.

On Monday, April 20, 2020, the State of Arkansas asked the Benton County Circuit Court to preserve the guilty verdict against Torres, but the Supreme Court ultimately denied upholding the verdict.  

Third trial: (Where we are now)

Torres' third trial began jury selection in early February, officially beginning opening statements on Thursday, Feb. 9.

On Tuesday, Judge Brad Karren's office confirmed that Torres' lawyers filed a motion for a mistrial but it was denied. The medical examiner was reported to be on the stand.

On Thursday, Feb. 16 at around 11 a.m., jury deliberation began after closing arguments ended. He was found guilty.

5NEWS will update this article with more information as it becomes available.

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