A young man who took part in a 2010 crime spree in Augusta that left a man dead was convicted of all charges Thursday and sentenced to life in prison without parole, plus five additional life sentences and 100 years behind bars.
A Richmond County Superior Court jury deliberated about 90 minutes before finding 19-year-old Hector Torres guilty of murder, aggravated sodomy, attempted rape, aggravated assault, four counts of armed robbery and six weapon violations.
Torres sat in a jail jumpsuit staring blankly as people victimized by his deeds talked of the pain he had caused.
Torres; half brother Hamlet Perdomo, 25; and Michael Rewis, 21, were charged with numerous crimes after a series of attacks in September 2010. Perdomo and Rewis, who have pleaded not guilty to the charges, face separate trials.
“I’ve been doing this job for a long time … and I can’t think of another case where a group of people – the defendant and his co-defendants – acted with less regard for the lives and for the dignity of others,” Hank Syms, a 12-year veteran of the district attorney’s office, said in asking for life without parole.
Torres shot and wounded one man before finding 56-year-old Carl Bush Sr. parked in a lot at Reynolds and Fifth streets in the early hours of Sept. 11, 2010. According to a witness who testified this week, the killer told Bush, “Give me your wallet,” then fired two shots at Bush after taking his money.
Though no witness could identify Torres as the shooter, he later told detectives he was the gunman.
Torres and the others didn’t stop there, police said. Three days later, a couple in south Augusta was robbed. In downtown Augusta about two hours later, assailants crossed paths with another couple. The woman was kidnapped and sexually assaulted, and DNA evidence proved Torres was one of the attackers.
“I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream but I knew no one would hear me. You didn’t rape just me, you raped my mind,” the assault survivor wrote in a statement read in court Thursday.
Statements from Bush’s mother and sister described him as a kind and gentle man.
“Every day you will wake up in that place and you will know why you’re there,” mother Annie Mae Bush wrote, addressing Torres.
Torres was 17 when committing the crimes, Judge Sheryl Jolly said, but the depravity exhibited convinced her that if he had had more than five bullets, there would have been more victims. Jolly imposed the maximum prison sentence possible.