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Death penalty case shifts focus to slain Ill. kids

Tuesday - 4/22/2014, 5:59pm  ET

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- Prosecutors are presenting evidence that an ex-Marine facing possible execution for murdering a Navy sailor in 2009 also killed two Illinois girls when he was only 16.

A federal jury in Alexandria must decide whether 25-year-old Jorge Torrez should be executed or receive life in prison for the murder of Petty Officer Amanda Snell, a barracks-mate at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington.

On Tuesday, prosecutors presented testimony linking Torrez to the 2005 killings of 8-year-old Laura Hobbs and 9-year-old Krystal Tobias, in Torrez's hometown of Zion, Ill.

Authorities in Illinois initially charged Laura's father with the killings, after prosecutors say a 20-hour interrogation yielded a false confession. But DNA evidence eventually led authorities to Torrez.

Torrez has ordered his lawyers not to fight prosecutors' case for execution.


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