May 22, 2019
Will a court hearing spare Jesse Torres from execution?
RIVERSIDE – (INT) – Jesse Torres, the former Moreno Valley man convicted of kidnapping and killing schoolgirl Norma Lopez, learned his potential fate Wednesday.

The same Superior Court jury that found Torres guilty recommended after an hour deliberations that he should be executed.

But, an attorney for the 42-year-old welder was granted a motion for a hearing that could disqualify Torres from the death sentence. The defense alleges that Torres has a mental or intellectual disability that disqualifies him from being executed. The hearing has been set for April 12th. A sentencing date will follow.

The 17-year-old victim was abducted while walking home from her summer classes at Valley View High School in Moreno Valley in July 2010. Her body was found 5-days later in a dirt field about 3-miles away.

Torres was arrested 15-months later. He was convicted largely on DNA evidence found with the girl’s body.

It’s unclear what impact Governor Newsom’s recent suspension of the California death penalty will have.
Story Date: March 24, 2019
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