AP

After decades in prison, California man innocent of murder

Jun 1, 2022, 12:09 PM | Updated: Jun 2, 2022, 5:42 am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California man who spent 21 years in prison for a gang murder he said he didn’t commit has been declared factually innocent by a judge, authorities announced Wednesday.

Alexander Torres appeared at a news conference with Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón and members of the California Innocence Project, which fought for his exoneration.

“Torres was so young when he was convicted of a crime he did not commit. He deserves a chance to start to really live his life,” said attorney Audrey McGinn from the California Innocence Project. “I’m so excited to see Alex reunited with his family and loved ones.”

Torres was a 20-year-old member of a Compton street gang when he was accused of jumping out of a car and shooting a rival gang member, Martin Guitron, in suburban Paramount on Dec. 31, 2000.

Guitron was shot eight times with a handgun.

Torres was arrested on Jan. 18, 2001. He told investigators he’d had confrontations with Guitron, including a fight after his mother’s car was vandalized, but did not leave his house the night of the killing, court records indicated.

Relatives testified that Torres injured his hand in the fight with Guitron several weeks earlier. At the time of the shooting, he had a broken finger and a cast on his arm from his elbow almost to his fingertips.

Torres was convicted on June 12, 2001 of second-degree murder with an allegation that he personally used a gun during the crime. He was sentenced to 40 years to life in state prison.

In 2006, however, a private investigator hired by Torres’ brother interviewed the driver of the getaway car, who said Torres wasn’t at the shooting scene and that another man committed the killing, according to a court filing.

That person closely resembled Torres physically, prosecutors said.

Last October, Torres was released from prison after a judge set aside his conviction at the request of Torres and the Conviction Integrity Unit of the district attorney’s office, which cited “newly discovered evidence” that someone else committed the killing.

That person, identified only as Individual 2 in the court filing, is serving prison time for a series of armed robberies committed after the shooting, prosecutors said.

In April, the district attorney’s office and the Innocence Project asked a judge for a finding of “factual innocence” in the case, arguing jointly that “there is not a single reliable or credible piece of evidence that Torres committed the crime” and that, in fact, “a preponderance of the evidence” shows that he is innocent. The motion was granted.

Prosecutors said they were investigating to gather enough evidence to charge the real shooter.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch ro...

Associated Press

Plane that did ‘Dutch roll’ on flight from Phoenix suffered structural damage, investigators say

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch roll” during a flight from Phoenix last month.

3 days ago

This photo provided by Randy Shannon shows Mooney Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the vi...

Associated Press

Dozens report illness after trips to waterfalls near Grand Canyon

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.

4 days ago

Mugshot of Rudy Giuliani, who was processed Monday, June 10, 2024, in the Arizona fake electors cas...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani posts $10K cash bond after being processed in Arizona fake electors case

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney, was processed Monday in the Arizona fake electors case.

7 days ago

FILE - White House former chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Wed...

Associated Press

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows pleads not guilty in Arizona fake elector case

Former Donald Trump presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump 2020 Election Day operations director Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday in Phoenix to nine felony charges for their roles in an effort to overturn Trump's Arizona election loss to Joe Biden.

10 days ago

deadly heat wave last summer...

Associated Press

After a deadly heat wave last summer, metro Phoenix is changing tactics

Fresh memories of the deadly heat wave last summer have led Arizona authorities to launch new tactics ahead of summer 2024.

21 days ago

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near...

Associated Press

Man accused of starting wildfire in national wildlife preserve in Yuma

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near the California border.

21 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

After decades in prison, California man innocent of murder