A man who fatally stabbed a 74-year-old woman and sexually assaulted another victim after taking them hostage during a break-in at a home in Del Cerro was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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Eduardo Torres, 21, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree murder, forcible oral copulation and admitted special circumstance allegations that the murder of Ut Nguyen took place during a burglary and a sexual assault.
“What he did was very evil.” said Nguyen’s son, Thuan Doan, who was locked out of his home during the ordeal.
Nguyen’s grandson, Egbert Doan, was at school when he got a call to return to the family home that day. Doan, who’s in his early 20s, told Torres that he took away someone who was supposed to watch him graduate and raise a family, and said he wonders if things would have been different had he been home that night.
“I regret it every day,” Doan said, “I feel so guilty.”
Judge Michael Smyth said the plea agreement, which saved Torres from a potential death sentence, was reasonable in that it protected the community and punished Torres for his actions.
The judge ordered the defendant removed from the courtroom when Torres wouldn’t stop talking and blurted out, “They (the victim’s family) should have the right to kill me.”
San Diego Police Sgt. Eric Seiter testified during a preliminary hearing in March that he arrived at the home in the 5600 block of Mill Peak Road after midnight on June 13, 2016, and was told by other officers that a man was holed up in the residence with two women.
Seiter said he and other officers decided to break into a small bedroom where Torres was holding the women hostage. When the officers entered the room, Torres had a knife and made a motion with his hand and was immediately taken into custody, Seiter said.
The officer said he noticed blood coming from Nguyen’s neck and immediately applied pressure to the injury until paramedics arrived.
The 50-year-old sexual assault victim was sleeping with her boyfriend, Thuan Doan, the night of the crime when she heard a loud noise that sounded like someone smashing a glass window.
The woman testified that Doan went downstairs and was arguing with the defendant when his mother emerged from a bedroom.
The victim said she went into a bedroom and locked the door because she was scared, but opened it because she thought the intruder was going to break it down. She said Torres pushed her and Nguyen into the bedroom and locked the door.
The woman said she was pushed down onto the bed by Torres and ordered to perform a sex act on him at knifepoint. She said she knew what he wanted her to do, but tried to delay because she thought Doan — who was forced outside — had called the police.
—City News Service
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