BENTONVILLE, Ark. — A Bella Vista man previously convicted of the rape and murder of his 6-year-old son will soon begin his new trial.
Mauricio Torres will once again walk into the Benton County Courthouse Tuesday (Feb. 18) morning.
Torres was arrested in April 2015 in the death of Maurice "Isaiah" Torres, who died March 29 of 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.
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 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.
Benton County Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Smith called this the most monumental overturning in county history.
Isaiah's mother, Cathy Torres, pleaded guilty to capital murder and battery. She signed a plea deal for life in prison without parole for the capital murder charge and 20 years for battery.
By court order, Cathy Torres will be brought in from the McPherson Unit of the Arkansas Division of Correction where she is serving her sentence to be a witness during the new trial.
The defense requested that Mauricio be allowed to shower, shave and brush his teeth each day before trial.
The trial is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.