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Saturday 22 January 2022
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Update: Judge Reverses Decision in 2002 Case of Convicted Murderer Jose Torres

By Staff

 

Wooden Gavel

(Update Aug. 24) – New York State Supreme Court Justice Francis Affronti has ruled convicted murderer Jose Torres was not the shooter in the killing of Miguel Cruz in 2001.

Torres served 14 years in prison for the crime.

The case was reopened after Five Points Correctional Facility inmate Steven Rivera came forward and said it had been his cousin Angel Carrasquillo who was responsible for the murder on July 4, 2001.

Carrasquillo, who is currently serving a life sentence for another murder, also testified he had been the shooter. 

According to Carrasquillo, he shot Cruz once in the head and twice in the chest, after Cruz had robbed him of drugs and money a few days before.

In his ruling, which was released Wednesday, Affronti said the new witnesses’ testimony seemed more truthful than the confession Torres gave police in 2001; a confession which Torres said he had been coerced into giving. 

The DA’s office has yet to respond to the decision, according to an article in the Democrat and Chronicle; however, one of prosecutors’ options would be to let Torres go free, another would be to appeal the ruling, the article said.

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(From May 11) – Steven Rivera, an inmate at Five Points Correctional Facility, told New York State Supreme Court Justice Francis Affronti Wednesday that convicted murderer Jose Torres was not the shooter in the killing of Miguel Cruz in 2001.

Torres served 14 years in prison for the crime.

The case was reopened after Rivera came forward and said it had been his cousin Angel Carrasquillo who was responsible for the murder on July 4, 2001.

Carrasquillo, who is currently serving a life sentence for another murder, also testified before Affronti Wednesday.

Carrasquillo said he shot Cruz once in the head and twice in the chest, after Cruz had robbed him of drugs and money a few days before, according to the Democrat and Chronicle.

Torres’ lawyer, Matthew Hagen, said he wants his client’s conviction reversed based on Carrasquillo’s confession, and that Torres was convicted based on a coerced confession, and the mishandling of police evidence.

Torres’ family has said they are happy new evidence has come forward in the case; however, Cruz’s family members have said they aren’t buying the new testimony.

“It doesn’t make any sense, and it’s just hard for us to relive this probably for no reason at all,” Rosa Cruz, Miguel Cruz’s aunt stated.

According to Affronti, he will receive written closing arguments in the case possibly by Thursday, and will issue a decision once the hearing ends.