An Englewood man who ambushed his estranged wife and her companion in Aurora and shot at them, hitting one of the victims seven times, has been sentenced to 45 years in prison.
“Thanks to the hard work of the Aurora Police Department, the judge handed down an appropriate sentence that recognizes the horrors these victims have fought through,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Oldham, head of the Domestic Violence unit and one of the prosecutors on the case. “We hope this will provide the victims some sense of security.”
“Domestic violence knows no cultural, economic or geographic boundaries; it is an insidious crime we see in all communities,” said District Attorney John Kellner. “This was an especially egregious case deserving of a strong sentence. I am proud of the work my Domestic Violence team does for all DV victims, and especially their work on this case.”
On Feb. 21, 2020, Aurora Police were called to South Pagosa Way where they found a man in a car who had been shot seven times, including twice in the head. A 38-year-old woman who was not shot was with the male victim in the car.
The man, who was 40 years old at the time, was taken to a hospital.
The woman told police she was separated from her husband, Torrez, and that he had been harassing and stalking her, including placing tracing devices on vehicles she used.
The male victim was her companion. Her estranged husband had followed them and approached them in the car. Torrez shot at the man as he covered her body with his. The estranged wife heard Torrez say “I hope you’re happy with yourself.”
Torrez was located that evening in Dacono and arrested.
“Mr. Torrez not only stalked the victims in this case, he hunted them. In a planned execution, the defendant shot one of the victims seven times — including twice in the head — while the victim protected the defendant’s estranged wife from the bullets,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Brian Eckhardt, who prosecuted the case with Oldham. “This would have been a double homicide but for the strength and determination of the victims.”
The victims in the case offered a statement, as well:
“We would like to publicly thank those who worked so tirelessly and tremendously on this case for both of us. From the first officer on scene, to the medics who arrived so quickly, to Dave Sutherland and his amazing team at the Aurora Police Department, and of course to Brian Eckhart and Elizabeth Oldham, the DAs who put so much care into their prosecution and fighting for justice for us as survivors. We will forever be grateful to those mentioned and everyone in between. Gratitude is so forgotten these days, but we are grateful.
“And to any woman or any person who might be in a situation of control and abuse: Please get help. You do not have to be in a situation where you’re being beaten for it to get bad, drastically and progressively. If there is extreme verbal, social, emotional and other forms of abuse — stalking and physical abuse will soon follow. Seek help, and get the law involved early. You are not alone, and it is not normal or justifiable to be in a home filled with fear, control and threats. The only reason we are alive today is because of a hero who sacrificed his body, and for the tireless medical efforts along with miracles that kept that hero alive.”