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Texas DA pursuing death penalty against MS-13 gang member who greenlit killing from behind bars

May 6, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Texas DA pursuing death penalty against MS-13 gang member who greenlit killing from behind bars

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A Texas district attorney is pursuing the death penalty for an alleged MS-13 gang member who greenlit a murder when he was already incarcerated.

Omar Torres, 26, of Houston, was taken into custody in 2016 for his role in the slaying of Noe Mendez earlier that year, the Houston Chronicle reported.

A week later, when Torres was behind bars awaiting his trial, authorities discovered the dead body of the key witness in the case, Estuar QuiƱonez, 16, in a park in Fort Bend enclosed by 25 shell casings.

Assistant District Attorney Colleen Barnett said: “He was in jail for murdering a guy; it was an MS-13 gang shooting. He arranged to have that witness killed, and we believe that was just a bad act that he committed.”

Torres was charged with the second murder a month after he was arrested in July 2016. Now prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty against the MS-13 gangster.

Harris County is the capital punishment capital of the nation but has seen decreasing numbers of inmates sentenced to death in recent years – in line with nationwide trends.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg is seeking the death penalty – which will be the first pursued by her office since she assumed the position in January 2017.

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