Jury finds Torres guilty of murder, sentencing begins Thursday - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Jury finds Torres guilty of murder, sentencing begins Thursday

Cristobal Torres, 29 (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center) Cristobal Torres, 29 (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)

A jury found 29-year-old Cristobal Torres guilty of murder on Wednesday, after less than an hour of deliberations.

The jury went into deliberations at 4:22 p.m. The verdict was handed down just after 5 p.m. Court will reconvene Thursday at 9 a.m. and begin the sentencing phase.

Torres was charged with murder after police say he admitted to firing a gun at an SUV. 16-year-old Joe Louis Martinez, who was riding in the SUV, died later at UMC.

According to an arrest warrant Torres admitted to firing a .40 caliber handgun four times in the direction of the SUV back in November 2011.

In a statement given to police, Torres says he went to Club Rio that Friday night with his friend, Phillip Gonzalez Jr.

Torres told police there was an argument between his group of friends and another group about a fight from a different night that involved Gonzalez.

Both groups left the club. Torres said Gonzalez was driving down 34th Street near Avenue P when he saw the other group's SUV coming toward them. Torres said he then pulled a gun out of the glove box and fired four times over the hood of the car while Gonzalez kept driving.

Martinez was shot, but was able to make it to another location where he called 911. EMS took him to UMC where he later died from his injuries.

After giving his statement to police, the arrest warrant says Torres called his mom and told her he had killed someone.

Although he admitted to firing a gun toward the SUV in interviews with police, Torres pled not guilty.

Gonzalez is also charged with murder. He has a negotiation conference scheduled for May 15.

The jury heard details of the arrest from gang task force members and heard details of Martinez's injuries from Lubbock Medical Examiner. They viewed graphic photos of the injuries and the crime scene and heard an emotional 911 recording called in immediately after Martinez was shot.

They also heard an audio recording in which Torres confessed to detectives about firing the gun was also played for the jury.

KCBD's Chelsea Davis will have more details for you at 6 and 10.

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