Man convicted, sentenced in 2010 Augusta crime spree

Hector Torres stands with attorney Penelope Donkar. The 19-year-old was convicted of taking part in a crime spree in which a man was shot dead and a woman was sexually assaulted.

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.

Murder trial resumes in the 2010 slaying in downtown Augusta
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Murder trial begins for Augusta crime spree suspect
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