Eric Torres was convicted in 2015 of shooting and seriously injuring Philadelphia Police Officer Ed Davies, but the conviction was overturned by a higher court. On Thursday, Torres rejected a plea deal that would have kept him behind bars for 37 to 74 years.
Torres, 37, who appeared in court wearing an untucked light-blue prison-issued shirt, said he wanted to take his chances with a second jury trial. If Torres is convicted of all charges, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Gehrke said, he could face a maximum of more than 100 years in prison.
Gehrke said he felt the plea offer was “reasonable.”
“He’s been convicted once,” Gehrke said, “and we feel pretty good about our case.”
Davies was shot in August 2013 trying to arrest Torres during a struggle inside the Almonte Mini Market at Fourth and Annsbury Streets in Feltonville after Torres had fled a traffic stop.
During a 2015 jury trial, Torres was acquitted of attempted murder, but convicted of aggravated assault and gun and drug charges and sentenced to 66 to 132 years.
Shortly afterward, Superior Court ordered a new trial, saying police had not had probable cause to search Torres' home after the shooting.
Defense attorney Jonathan Strange does not agree.
“A new trial has been ordered; this is a brand-new trial,” said Strange. “And we know the jury will see this as a tragic accident.”
At Torres' sentencing in July 2015, Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Ehrlich told him, “I don’t want you on the streets. You’re a ticking time bomb.”
Davies, who attended Thursday’s hearing before Ehrlich, said he would attend the second trial.
“I can’t believe it’s going for the second time,” Davies said. “But I’ll go to trial, I’ll tell my story, and let them know that this guy tried to kill me.”
He said he still has nerve damage from his waist down, and scars from his neck to his feet.
“I have trouble getting out of bed some days,” he said. “But I’m here.”