RSS Feeds

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.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.