Arkansas father who killed son by raping him with stick gets attacked by stepson in court, granted mistrial
BENTONVILLE, ARKANSAS: A father, convicted of murdering his six-year-old son by sexually assaulting him with a stick, was attacked by his stepson during the sentencing hearing.
50-year-old Mauricio Torres' stepson, Quinton Martin, jumped out of the witness stand and attempted to attack Torres while testifying during the sentencing. Martin had testified about the physical abuse that Torres had inflicted on him as a child. When a prosecuting attorney asked Martin about sexual abuse, he jumped out of the stand and rushed at Torres.
He ran around 15 to 20 feet towards the table where Torres and his attorneys were sitting. In all the commotion, a table was flipped over as multiple law enforcement officers inside the courtroom got to Martin and held him down. Benton County Prosecutor Nathan Smith shared, "I think Mr. Martin frankly was heartbroken about it," reports KNWA.
"It’s a hard thing for him, and I certainly cannot blame him for doing it," Smith added. The defense attorney shared with the judge that he has never seen anything like this happen in front of a jury and that it 'cannot be unseen'. The prosecutor shared with the judge that the motion of bringing Martin to the witness stand was a 'last resort' and suggested that the judge could ask the jury to disregard the incident.
He further suggested that Martin could also be asked to testify again. Judge Brad Karren granted the defense attorney's motion and said that he could not see how the jury could forget what had happened. Judge Karren decided to dismiss the jury and declared a mistrial.
The prosecution asked the judge to change his mind and keep the guilty verdict that the jury had found. A hearing has been rescheduled for March 19.
We had previously reported that Torres was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in November 2016, but the conviction was overturned due to a technicality. Torres is presently being held without bail in the Benton County jail.