Steamboat shooting suspect faces additional charges
November 30, 2012
Steamboat Springs — The Routt County District Attorney's Office has filed nine additional charges that a potential jury could consider against Steven Torres.
According to an arrest affidavit, Torres had been kicked out of The Tap House Sports Grill on Lincoln Avenue when he fired into the bar toward two male bouncers and a woman.
No one was hit by the bullet, and Torres quickly was arrested after the June 9 incident. Torres still is in custody with bail set at $250,000.
Torres originally was charged with three counts of attempted murder. After reviewing the case, Routt County Chief Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle said he chose to file two additional attempted murder charges and a charge alleging Torres illegally discharged a firearm. There also are five crime of violence charges that are known as sentence enhancers related to the use of a firearm. If Torres is convicted of any of the other charges, a jury would have to decide whether Torres committed a crime of violence. If they decide that he did, the judge would be obligated to impose a higher minimum sentence. If Torres is convicted of just one of the attempted murder charges and a jury decides it was a crime of violence, Prindle said Torres would face a minimum 16-year prison sentence.
Prindle said the two additional attempted murder charges were filed because there are two theories he would present to a potential jury. One of the theories is that Torres intended to kill people by shooting the gun. The other theory is that Torres maliciously fired the gun but that he did not deliberately intend to try to kill anyone.
With the additional charges filed against Torres, Routt County Public Defender Sheryl Uhlmann asked to delay the preliminary hearing that was set for Thursday. The hearing now has been set for 9 a.m. Jan. 18 in Routt County Court. The hearing will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to set the case for trial in district court. The case may not go to trial, Prindle said, and negotiations are ongoing to come up with a plea deal.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com