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New trial proceeds for father in slaying

Prosecutors seek the death penalty by Mike Jones | February 27, 2020 at 3:46 a.m.

BENTONVILLE -- Opening statements are to start today in the second trial of a Bella Vista man accused of killing his 6-year-old son.

Mauricio Alejandro Torres, 50, is charged with capital murder and battery. He pleaded innocent to the charges. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case.

He was previously convicted of the murder and battery charges, but last year the Arkansas Supreme Court overturned the convictions and ordered a new trial.

Jury selection ended Wednesday when prosecutors and the defense selected a 12th juror and three alternate jurors, Benton County prosecutor Nathan Smith said.

Opening statements are set to start at 1:30 p.m. today, Smith said.

Jury selection started Feb. 18. The jury consists of seven women and five men, Smith said.

Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren will preside over the case.

Torres is accused of sodomizing his son with a stick in Missouri, causing the boy's death. The boy died March 30, 2015, at a Bella Vista medical clinic. A medical examiner testified in the 2016 trial that the boy's death was caused by a bacterial infection resulting from sodomy.

The same witnesses who were called in the first trial are expected to testify during the second trial.

Prosecutors and the defense team have Cathy Torres on their witness lists. She is the boy's mother. She pleaded guilty in March 2017 to capital murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Mauricio Torres is being held without bail in the Benton County jail.

He faces life imprisonment or a death sentence if convicted of the murder charge. He could be sentenced to from five to 20 years if a jury finds him guilty of the battery charge.

Metro on 02/27/2020

Print Headline: New trial proceeds for father in slaying

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