Defendant rejects DA's plea offer, faces second trial for allegedly shooting Philly cop

Steve Tawa
December 20, 2018 - 2:35 pm
In 2015, then 33-year-old Eric Torres was sentenced to 66 to 132 years in prison in connection to a shooting that left Philadelphia Police Officer Edward Davies in a medically induced coma and nerve damage.

Philadelphia Police Department

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A man whose conviction was vacated by Pennsylvania Superior Court has rejected a plea arrangement offered by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. 

Eric Torres will stand trial a second time for the 2013 shooting of a police officer during a scuffle in a Feltonville grocery store. 

Judge Charles Ehrlich asked the 37-year-old a series of questions, noting the district attorney offered 21 to 42 years, plus additional time from another judge's violation of parole, which would result in a 37- to 74-year sentence.

When a jury convicted him in 2015, Torres was sentenced to 66 to 132 years. 

Jonathan Strange of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, who is representing Torres, said a new jury will have a clean slate.

"This case really is a tragic accident," he said, noting that "officers piled on top of him" in a corner bodega, and "unfortunately a gun went off, striking Officer Edward Davies."

The officer doesn't see it that way.

"I'll go to trial, I'll tell my story, and let jurors know that this guy tried to kill me," he said.

"He's been convicted once," added prosecutor Matthew Gehrke, "and we feel pretty good about our case."

The first jury returned guilty verdicts on aggravated assault and related gun and drug charges, for large amounts of heroin found in his home and car. The jury acquitted Torres of attempted murder.

But last year, Pennsylvania Superior Court vacated the sentence and ordered a new trial based on a defense appeal that police did not have probable cause to search his nearby home.