BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) —A Bella Vista man convicted nearly three years ago of killing his 6-year-old son through rape and abuse will now get a new trial. 5NEWS spoke with a juror in his case who says she can't believe the Arkansas Supreme Court's decision to overturn his conviction.
Mauricio Alejandro Torres, 45, of Bella Vista was arrested in April 2015 in the death of Maurice "Isaiah" Torres, who died March 29 of that year. Mauricio Torres was convicted of capital murder and first-degree battery on Nov. 15, 2016, in Isaiah's death. Torres 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.
"The vote of one justice invalidated the will of 12 jurors in Benton County and forces the victim's family and the survivors to go through this again, so it's a hard day for them, and it was hard to tell them that, and it's just unfortunate," Benton County Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Smith told 5NEWS.
Kacie Alverson, who was one of the jurors for the case, spoke with 5NEWS about the decision to give Torres the death penalty.
"We all agreed on it and before we even walked out of that room to get the bailiff and tell them we made a decision, we all sat there and prayed about our decision, and I think that speaks volumes for itself, because a lot of people weren't religious, but we all came together and said 'we need to pray about this decision,' " Alverson says.
She says those two weeks sitting in the courtroom, will be two weeks she will remember for the rest of her life.
"Those pictures are forever ingrained in my mind, watching the autopsy and all that stuff is forever ingrained in my mind," she says.
Even though he's getting a new trial, Nathan Smith is dedicated to making sure Isaiah Torres receives the justice he deserves.
"We will proceed vigorously. There is no more important case to me, or to this office than the abuse and the murder of a child," Smith said.