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Thread: Andres Antonio Torres - South Carolina Death Row

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Andres Antonio Torres - South Carolina Death Row

    Summary of Offense:

    Sentenced to death for the brutal murders of Ray and Ann Emery.

    In May of 2007, Union County Emergency Services received a call reporting a one-car accident involving a van. Subsequently, Torres was identified by witnesses in a police photo line-up as the driver of the van.

    Officers arrived on the scene of the accident shortly after Torres fled the area and discovered that the van was registered in the name of Ann Emery. Officers found Ann and her husband Charles Ray Emery's (collectively "the Emerys") belongings in the van, and based on that discovery, requested a welfare check on their residence.

    Upon arriving at the Emerys' residence and getting no response at the front door, officers walked around the house to check for signs of forced entry. Finding none, officers entered the residence through an unsecured door, immediately smelled the odor of gasoline, and noticed the house felt hot. Officers discovered the body of Charles Ray Emery lying face down on the mattress in the bedroom. The body of Ann Emery was discovered on the floor beside the bed after EMS arrived on scene. Due to the extent of their injuries, neither body could be identified at the scene, and identification was accomplished at the hospital during an autopsy. Due to the compromising position of Ann Emery's body at the scene, a sexual assault kit was administered. Semen taken from Ann Emery's body by way of the kit matched DNA of Torres. Torres was indicted on: two counts of armed robbery; two counts of murder; one count of burglary of a dwelling, first degree; one count of attempt to burn; and one count of criminal sexual conduct, first degree. A jury trial was held, resulting in a verdict of guilty on all counts.

    Torres was sentenced to death in Spartanburg County on October 22, 2008.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    October 23, 2008

    SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Tony Torres has been sentenced to death in the beating death of a Spartanburg couple.

    It took jurors almost two hours to decide the penalty Torres would face. On Sunday, a jury convicted Tony Torres of beating Ray and Ann Emery to death with a hammer last May.

    The jurors began deliberating just before noon Thursday after Torres spoke to the jury during the death penalty phase of the trial.

    "I stand in this courtroom and I have to live every day the rest of my life knowing that I've been found guilty of killing my best friend's parents," Torres said, as he cried. "Although I may be hated, I just want to ask people to forgive me."

    Torres ripped a sheet of paper that was placed in front of him to read.

    "What's in front of me, I don't want to read that. I want to tell you something from my heart, because it hurts," he told the jury. "I didn't ask to be born and not going to ask to die. As I stand up here, it's like standing at the gates asking God to let me in."

    Just minutes before Torres spoke, Seventh Circuit Solicitor Trey Gowdy had prompted several jurors to reach for tissues, as he showed them graphic pictures of the Emerys' bodies during his closing arguments and talked about their life together.

    "They lived together, they loved together and they died together," Gowdy told the jury.

    "He's been shown mercy," Gowdy said, referring to Torres' 40 prior convictions, which range from car break-ins to burglaries.

    (Source: FoxCarolina.com)

  3. #3
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    On December 13, 2010, the South Carolina Supreme Court affirmed, on direct appeal, the death sentence for Andres Antonio Torres. Torres appealed the use of autopsy photos and videotapes used in the sentencing phase of trial.

    Opinion here

  4. #4
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Man sentenced to death in 2007 double homicide appears before judge

    A man sentenced to death for a brutal double homicide was back in court Monday claiming that he received ineffective counsel and did not receive a fair trial.

    Andres “Tony” Torres, 33, was found guilty in October 2008 of murdering Ray and Ann Emery. The Drayton couple was found beaten in their bedroom on May 11, 2007, after Union County authorities found their van wrecked with their belongings inside. Authorities say the murder weapon was a hammer.

    Torres also was convicted of two counts of armed robbery and one count each of attempt to burn, first-degree burglary and first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

    Ann Emery was sexually assaulted. Gasoline was poured throughout the couple’s home at 12 Montgomery St., and four burners on the stove and oven broiler were set to high.

    Six guards escorted Torres into Circuit Court Judge Derham Cole’s courtroom Monday.

    One of Torres’ attorneys, Hank Ehlies, told Cole that during the sentencing phase, the judge who presided over the capital case was not clear that the jury was recommending the sentence and that the jury was the sole sentencing authority.

    Senior Assistant Attorney General Melody Brown told Cole the original lawyers did not object. The jury was correctly informed, and jurors knew they were deciding Torres’ fate, the attorney said.

    Cole denied the motion for a summary judgment and said jurors would have known they were recommending Torres’ sentence.

    Ehlies argued that Torres’ original defense lawyers were ineffective for failing to object to the manner in which the law was charged to the jury. He said there was no strategic reasoning for the defense to remain silent on the matter.

    Several witnesses also testified Monday.

    Former Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office detective Reed Lindsay, who was lead investigator on the case, testified it was his understanding that Torres had an altercation with Ray Emery’s adopted son, Chuck Emery, before the deaths.

    According to testimony, Torres threatened to kill Chuck Emery and his family.

    Torres’ defense team suggested that another person was involved in the murder and that investigators never looked at other possible suspects. Lindsay, under questioning from Ehlies, said at no point in the investigation did he find anything that pointed to another person’s involvement.

    “The person who committed the crime is sitting over there,” Lindsay said, nodding to Torres, who sat shackled in a green prison-issued jumpsuit.

    Lindsay said he located Torres at a relative’s home, where he found shoes in a washing machine. He said the tread on the shoes matched bloody shoeprints tracked through the house. Lindsay acknowledged that there were unmatched shoeprints, but said that was to be expected because original responders did not know what they would find at the crime scene.

    Lindsay said only a “select few” knew how the couple was killed, but said Torres told him during an interview that he knew the couple had been beaten to death. Lindsay said Torres’ semen also was found at the crime scene, but could not recollect collecting DNA samples from others to compare to forensic evidence.

    Ann Emery’s daughter, Crystal Williamson, testified that Torres’ defense attorney did not contact her about the case.

    “I never thought Tony Torres did this by himself,” Williamson said.

    Lt. Tony Ivey with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said in a written statement that, “The evidence in this case did not lead investigators to any other individuals having been involved in this case. Had the evidence pointed to the involvement of anyone else they would have been charged along with Mr. Torres.”

    The hearing resumes at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.


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