Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces that Defendant Luis E. Torres, age 39, of Jersey City, New Jersey, has been sentenced today to twenty (20) years in prison in connection with the charges stemming from a drunk driving motor vehicle crash that occurred on August 24, 2013 in Jefferson Township, which left three occupants of his vehicle dead.
The sentencing in this matter was heard before the Honorable James DeMarzo, J.S.C. Under the sentence imposed by the Court, the defendant must serve 85 percent of the twenty year sentence before becoming eligible for parole, pursuant to the No Early Release Act. The Court also imposed a 10 year loss of driving privileges to commence after the defendant has served his prison sentence.
On March 23, 2015, the Defendant pled guilty to one count of Aggravated Manslaughter, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4a(1), a crime of the first degree, two counts of Vehicular Homicide, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5a, crimes of the second degree, four counts of Assault by Auto, in violation of N.J.S.A.2C:12-1c(1), crimes of the fourth degree, one count of Assault by Auto, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c(2), a crime of the third degree and Driving While Intoxicated.
This prosecution stemmed from the arrest of Torres for his role in the August 24, 2013 incident where he was operating a 2002 Ford Explorer when it flipped over. He was travelling with his family on Route 15 South in Jefferson Township, New Jersey at the time of the accident. There were nine occupants inside the vehicle including the defendant. Three of the occupants were children under the age of 18. Several passengers were ejected from the vehicle resulting in the deaths of three passengers. The defendant and five remaining passengers suffered injuries. The decedents are Lucila Colon, age 62; Julissa Colon, age 36; and Tevia Booth, age 11.
Assistant Prosecutor Brian DiGiacomo represented the State during the prosecution of this matter.
The Prosecutor would like to thank the Jefferson Township Police Department, the New Jersey State Police Fatal Accident Investigation Unit, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Criminal Investigations Section.
Any inquiries can be directed to Deputy Chief Denise H. Arseneault, at 973-285-6262 or [email protected].