BENTON COUNTY, ARKANSAS, Ark. —
Warning: Details in this story could be graphic for some readers.
Mauricio Torres, a Bella Vista man, previously convicted for the rape and murder of his 6-year-old son in 2015, has been found guilty of Capital Murder and First Degree Battery during a retrial. He could face the death penalty. The judge dismissed the jury and Torres will be sentenced Thursday (March 5) morning at 8:30 a.m.
Torres was arrested in April 2015 in the death of Maurice "Isaiah" Torres, who died earlier that year. Investigators say Torres used a stick to sexually assault his son while the family was camping in Missouri. The boy died at an Arkansas hospital a day after the assault.
This is his second trial for the death of his son Isaiah.
At the end of Torres' first trial, on Nov. 15, 2016, after hearing testimonies from five of his children and step-children, all who accused him of years of sexual and physical abuse, he was convicted of capital murder and first-degree battery, in Isaiah's death. He was sentenced to death.
The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 decision that Torres should have his conviction overturned and should receive a new trial on the stipulations that the crime happened while Torres' was camping in Missouri with his family.
Because of this, they said, Arkansas authorities couldn't use rape to substantiate the capital murder conviction.
Torres took the stand this week and testified in the murder trial against him.
His defense argued that he should receive a manslaughter charge for Isaiah's death and that there was no proof that he knew his son would die from his injuries.
The prosecution argued that Torres was not the victim and that him and Kathy were a match made in hell. They said both acted like parents that knowingly caused their son's death and that they knew if Isaiah were taken to the hospital, they would have gone to jail.
Other acts of child abuse the prosecution touched on were Isaiah's teeth being pulled out with pliers, bathed in bleach, being beaten with a stick, and having a stick shoved up his rectum more than once.
His wife, Cathy, who is servicing life in prison for Isaiah's death after taking a plea deal, testified before Torres, stating she never knew the extent of her son's injuries.
Torres' biological daughter also spoke with the jury this week about how her parents abused Isaiah.