Sus­pect, 18, pleads in­no­cent in killing

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES - RON WOOD

FAYET­TEVILLE — An 18-year-old Spring­dale man pleaded in­no­cent Wed­nes­day to charges of first-de­gree mur­der and en­gag­ing in a con­tin­u­ing crim­i­nal gang, or­ga­ni­za­tion or en­ter­prise in a fa­tal shoot­ing last month.

Po­lice found Javier Ni­co­las-Ro­driguez, 19, of Bethel Heights about 3 a.m. Dec. 6 in a car that crashed in the drive­way at 1659 Pi­o­neer St., in the north­east part of Spring­dale. He died of a gun­shot wound, ac­cord­ing to a po­lice re­port.

An­jel An­to­nio Tor­res is the sus­pect in the slay­ing. Tor­res fled to Cal­i­for­nia and was ar­rested Dec. 9 in Barstow, au­thor­i­ties said. Tor­res was ex­tra­dited to Arkansas on Dec. 26.

Tor­res also is charged with com­mit­ting a ter­ror­is­tic act and three counts of ag­gra­vated as­sault re­lated to shoot­ing at a car with mul­ti­ple oc­cu­pants, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

At his ar­raign­ment Wed­nes­day, Tor­res was given an ini­tial court date of March 26 be­fore Cir­cuit Judge Mark Lind­say. Bail is set at $500,000.

Tor­res faces 10 to 40 years or life in prison if con­victed of first-de­gree mur­der.

An­other man, Jose Men­doza, 18, is charged with help­ing Tor­res elude po­lice. Men­doza was ar­rested along with Tor­res in Cal­i­for­nia after po­lice traced his cell­phone.

Men­doza, of Spring­dale, has an ar­raign­ment hear­ing set for Fri­day in Wash­ing­ton County Cir­cuit Court on one count of hin­der­ing ap­pre­hen­sion or pros­e­cu­tion. arkansason­line.com/lr­crime

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