Judge: Arkansas man to get third trial in son’s death

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A state judge on Thursday said he won’t reconsider the mistrial he granted to an Arkansas man convicted of killing his 6-year-old son by sexually assaulting the child with a stick.

Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren rejected a request by prosecutors to limit the mistrial he granted Mauricio Torres to the sentencing phase, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. Prosecutors had asked that Karren let Torres’ conviction stand.

Karren declared a mistrial earlier this month when Torres’ stepson, who testified his stepfather physically abused him, jumped up from the witness stand and charged after Torres when a prosecutor asked about sexual abuse.

It was not clear if the stepson had been sexually abused. The Associated Press doesn’t usually name alleged victims of sexual assault.

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A Benton County jury found Torres, 50, of Bella Vista, guilty of capital murder and battery during his retrial in the 2015 death of Isaiah Torres. He faced death or life in prison without parole.

Mauricio Torres’ 2016 conviction and death sentence were overturned by the Arkansas Supreme Court, which ruled 4-3 last April that Arkansas authorities couldn’t use rape as a justification for the murder conviction because the assault occurred in Missouri. Torres’ son died at an Arkansas hospital a day after the assault.

Torres is being held without bond in the Benton County jail.

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