Arkansas man sentenced to death in son’s killing with stick

Mauricio Torres.

Mauricio Torres.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — A northwest Arkansas man convicted of killing his 6-year-old son by assaulting the child with a stick has been sentenced to death.

A Benton County jury recommended the sentence for 45-year-old Mauricio Torres on Tuesday after finding him guilty of capital murder and battery a day earlier. Circuit Judge Brad Karren formally imposed the Bella Vista man’s sentence

A medical examiner at Torres’ trial blamed the March 2015 death of Maurice Isaiah Torres on chronic child abuse and a bacterial infection caused by his being assaulted with a stick. Prosecutor Nathan Smith said the boy suffered “sexual torture.”

Defense attorney Bill James said Torres’ actions were intended as punishment, not sexual gratification.

Torres’ wife, Cathy Torres, is also charged with capital murder and battery. Her trial is planned for May.