After deliberating most of Friday, a Pima County jury decided a Tucson man intentionally stabbed his girlfriend to death, but did so without premeditation.
Carlos Torres, 20, was convicted of second-degree murder and is facing a minimum of 10 years in prison when sentenced Dec. 10. Prosecutors had sought a first-degree murder conviction for Torres.
Torres waived his right to let the jury decide if aggravating factors exist that could enhance his sentence to a much as 22 years. The decision will be made by Pima County Superior Court Judge Richard Fields.
Prosecutors Kellie Johnson and Kendrick Wilson intend to argue Torres is eligible for the maximum sentence because Torres killed Ignacia Aranda, 17, in the presence of their 18-month-old daughter, because of the emotional harm to Aranda’s family and because of the nature of the murder itself.
During opening statements, Johnson told jurors Torres and Aranda argued on Aug. 8, 2011, because Aranda had gone through Torres’ belongings while he was visiting another girlfriend.
At some point during the argument, Aranda asked her mother to come pick her and the baby up, but changed her mind.
At 8:30 a.m. Aug. 9, Torres called the other girlfriend and told her Aranda had stabbed herself to death, Johnson said. The girlfriend called Torres' mother and she called 911.
When detectives arrived, they discovered Aranda had been dead for hours, Johnson said.
They believe Aranda was already dead when Torres called for an ambulance to take him to the hospital at 2 a.m. so he could have his injured hand stitched up.
An autopsy revealed Aranda had been stabbed in the face and neck between 19 and 25 times.
Assistant Pima County Public Defender Adam Page told jurors Aranda found a “Girl’s Gone Wild” video while Torres was away and they argued about it.
When Aranda called her mother to pick her up, Page said, Torres begged her to stay, they “kissed and made up” and began playing video games.
The argument heated up again, though, when Aranda demanded Torres’ phone, saying she didn't think she'd ever be able to trust him.
When looking through the phone, Aranda found texts between Torres and the other girlfriend, and a downloaded picture of a scantily clad Kim Kardashian.
Aranda punched Torres and he pushed her away, Page said.
When Aranda said, “I wish you were dead and I wish I had my baby with somebody else,” Page said, Torres “snapped.”
“Before he knows it, he's standing over Ignacia's lifeless body,” Page said.
Page and fellow defense attorney Michael Rosenbluth argued the slaying wasn’t premeditated, but a crime of passion.
According to court testimony, the couple began a tumultuous relationship when Aranda was 13 and Torres was 15.
Aranda and their daughter moved in with Torres just a few days prior to the slaying.
Torres, who has an IQ of 51 and is considered intellectually disabled, paid for his rent at the Retro City Apartments, 2475 N. Haskell Drive, with his disability checks, his mother testified.
Torres’ 15-year-old girlfriend testified she thought Torres and Aranda had broken up and Aranda was only living with him because her mother had kicked her out.
Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or email@example.com