He is accused in the shooting death of a Coronado graduate. Now Steven Dan Torres is behind bars. Just before five pm Thursday afternoon, the 25-year-old was arraigned on murder charges. Detectives then took Torres to the Lubbock County jail. Police say Torres shot 24-year-old James Daniel Green after a fender bender.
In red shorts, a black t-shirt and shackles Torres was escorted into Judge Jim Hansen's courtroom Thursday afternoon. Torres appeared before the judge to hear his charges for what police say was a deadly case of road rage.
"You are charged under cause number 2008-813192 with the offense of murder," Judge Hansen said.
Nearly 15 hours earlier police say Torres met 24-year-old James Daniel Green and Steven Harris in the Town and Country parking lot on 19th Street and Milwaukee Avenue.
"Our victim backed into our suspect. Attempted to make right by showing insurance," Sgt. Jimmy Pachall said. But Pachall says Torres became enraged.
Sean Pace was with both Green and Harris earlier Wednesday night at Buffalo Wild Wings on West 19th Street. Pace says his friends left the group to go buy a nicotine fix. He says when the guys were leaving Town and County they bumped into Torres's truck.
"He said, I had a pistol staring at my forehead and that's when Daniel said oh man I gotta get out of here," Pace said.
While still in the parking lot, police say Torres fired a shot into the air. Pace says Green and Harris drove away, but Torres followed. "Steven said he didn't realize the guy was behind him but he hear a gunshot and looked back and saw the truck and speed up some more and heard another shot. He said by the third shot he head the back drivers' side window shatter," Pace said.
"A car ran into a pole. It woke me up," a caller told 911. That is the 911 call police responded to near 24th Street and West Loop 289. A car had crashed into a utility pole. Police believe Torres shot Green who later succumbed to those injuries and crashed his car. In addition, it was those at the scene that led investigators to Torres.
"Witnesses at the scene were able to give us information that led us to our suspect in the county," Sgt. Pachall said. Pachall says sheriff deputies were called to assist.
"At the house we were able to recover a weapon that we suspect was used in this crime," Pachall added.
It is a crime Pachall says started over a minor traffic accident, where now one man faces murder charges while family and friends mourn the loss of a loved one.
"He (Green) was breathing really, really hard. He (Harris) was just trying to calm him (Green) down and he (Harris) started checking for a pulse and said he couldn't feel a pulse," Pachall said.
NewsChannel 11 also found this is not Torres' first run in with authorities. He was arrested in 2002 on prohibited weapons charges.
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