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Courthouse scuffle leads to mistrial in Mauricio Torres' case

Mauricio Torres has been found guilty in the death of his six-year-old son in a retrial but a scuffle in the courtroom led the judge to declare a mistrial.

BENTON COUNTY, ARKANSAS, Ark. — UPDATE: According to Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Smith, the judge has decided to discharge the jury and declared a mistrial for the entire case. The judge will let attorneys come back at a later date and argue to uphold the conviction. 

“I am disappointed that the jurors and the surviving victims were not able to see this trial to a final conclusion," Smith said. "I argued vigorously that the law allowed the judge to simply admonish the jury to disregard the incident and let the trial continue as the law allows the Court the discretion to do. I am disappointed that the Court granted the mistrial over my objection, but remain committed to fighting for justice”

Original story:

It was a chaotic scene at the Benton County Courthouse Thursday (Mar. 5) morning after Mauricio Torres, who was found guilty in the death of his six-year-old son by assaulting the child with a stick, was attacked by his 24-year-old stepson. 

The prosecution was questioning Quentin Martin, Torres' 24-year-old stepson, who is in jail for possession charges. 

Credit: Benton County Jail
Quinton Martin.

When asked if he was ever sexually assaulted by Torres, Martin jumped up and lunged across the witness stand towards him.   

The courtroom was evacuated after bailiffs interfered.  

No injures were caused by the outburst. 

The defense has asked for a mistrial for the sentencing portion of the case following the incident

Torres has been found guilty of capital murder and battery in a retrial. He's accused of killing his son, six-year-old Isaiah Torres, in 2015. 

Credit: kfsm
Mauricio Torres (L), Maurice "Isaiah" Torres (R).

A Benton County jury returned the verdict on Wednesday (Mar. 4).

The sentencing phase is set to begin Thursday. 

Torres could be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole. 

In 2019, Torres' 2016 conviction and death sentence were overturned by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

RELATED: Mauricio Torres found guilty of capital murder in the death of his son

RELATED: Convicted Bella Vista Child Killer Will Get New Trial After Court Denies Appeal

 

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