Berks

Miguel Torres, former fugitive, to stand trial in 2005 killing of estranged wife in downtown Reading

Former fugitive to stand trial in killing of estranged wife

READING, Pa. - A former Exeter Township man will stand trial in the deadly shooting ambush of his estranged wife in downtown Reading.

Miguel Torres appeared before a judge for his preliminary hearing on Wednesday. He's charged with murder in the killing of Barbara Torres in a parking lot outside the Berks County Courthouse on Sept. 12, 2005.

Torres, dubbed one of America's most wanted by United States Marshals, was on the run from authorities until his apprehension in Italy on March 15, 2013.

Torres' attorney told 69 News on Wednesday that he's now preparing for his client to plead not guilty at his formal arraignment, tentatively scheduled for Jan. 30.

"The biggest problem Commonwealth has at this point is that the eyewitness testimonies are drastically inconsistent," said Robert Kirwan, Torres' attorney.

During the hearing there were vastly different eyewitness accounts as to what Miguel Torres was wearing the day his wife Barbara Torres was shot and killed.

One witness testified that Torres was wearing khaki pants, shoes, a belt, and a yellow shirt. Yet another witness said Torres was wearing shorts and sneakers.

"At this point the evidence does not prove that he's the killer," said Kirwan. "He's not the person who committed the murder on that date."

But Barbara Torres' former co-worker, who asked not to be named, and who was the last person alleged to be with Barbara before she was killed, testified that she was certain that Miguel Torres was the shooter.

"It's always with me with the past eight years," said the witness.

The defense attorney said that due to the extensive media coverage the case has received, he would not rule out filing for a change of venue.


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