BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) -- The 9-year-old sister of a 6-year-old boy who police say was killed by Mauricio Torres took the stand Thursday (Nov. 10) in her father's capital murder trial.
Torres and his wife Cathy are accused of killing Maurice Isaiah Torres, who went by Isaiah, in March 2015. Testimony in Torres' trial began Tuesday after the jury was seated Monday (Nov. 7).
On Tuesday, the prosecution told the jury Torres sodomized Isaiah with a stick, which led to internal injuries that eventually killed him. The defense is arguing Torres did not intend to kill his son.
WARNING: The details of this case could be disturbing to some readers.
Isaiah's sister was questioned by the prosecution first. She told the jury her brother was abused often.
She talked about instances when Isaiah was forced to sleep in a cage every night and on at least one occasion was forced to sleep in a recycling bin in the bathroom.
She also told the jury her father would yank Isaiah's teeth out with pliers when he found out Isaiah had been speaking badly about him.
Other punishments the 9-year-old described included Torres hitting Isaiah with a stick or an electric cable. She said there were also instances when Torres would make her hit Isaiah with a stick. She said she complied with her father's demands because she was afraid of what would happen if she didn't.
Other times, Torres would make Isaiah carry weights around on his shoulders.
Isaiah's sister also said her brother was not allowed to eat with her or their other sister. Instead he was only allowed to eat peanut butter, rice and beans. She also told the jury her father would force Isaiah to drink Torres' urine and eat his feces. There were also instances when Torres would urinate in a bucket, drunk Isaiah's underwear in it and force his son to wear them on his head.
The girl said her brother was only allowed to take cold showers. She also described a time one of her parents, she couldn't remember which, poured bleach on Isaiah after which he was taken to Children's Hospital in Little Rock to be treated for second-degree burns.
When Prosecutor Nathan Smith asked her about what happened in the day leading up to Isaiah's death, the sister told the jury they were camping in Missouri when at one point she saw Isaiah in the shower with his hands and legs tied with shoelaces with no clothes on. Before the family went home to Bella Vista, the girl said Torres told Isaiah to come into the camper and when the door opened she saw her brother had a stick in his rectum.
When they got home, the sister told the jury Isaiah couldn't even get out of the car. A few hours later he was rushed to the hospital where he died.
The 9-year-old was also cross examined by the defense attorney Bill James. He asked her why she never told anyone these details before. The child told him she didn't know why.
The jury then heard from Dr. Stephen Erickson, the medical examiner who determined Isaiah's cause of death was rape and chronic child abuse.
Erickson told the jury the child's injuries were consistent with a textbook-case of chronic child abuse and his death was caused by sepsis from blunt anal rectal trauma.
He then described the numerous injuries he found on Isaiah's body during the autopsy. The photos of the autopsy were also shown to the jury.
Erickson said the boy had several untreated injuries and scars in abnormal places that he couldn't explain. He also told the jury Isaiah's teeth had be knocked out and his nose was deformed and broken after never being treated.
Erickson described an injury under Isaiah's breast bone that went all the way to his hip bone, although he said it didn't contribute to his death. He also attributed the bruises on the child's fingers and wrists to Isaiah shielding himself from being hit.
Erickson said he counted more than 60 injuries on the boy's back that made a u-shape pattern and looked like whip marks. There were also lacerations on the child's knees and 30 scars on his head.
The medical examiner also described the injuries to Isaiah's rectum that eventually led to the septic shock that killed him.
During cross-examination, the defense asked Erickson if it looked as though Isaiah had ever been tied up, he told them it did not. The defense also asked if a big ring that was worn backwards could have caused some of lacerations, Erickson told them yes. Finally, Erickson was asked if a stick pushed up the child's rectum could have caused his injuries, to which he also said yes.
The prosecution rested their case today. The trial will resume Nov. 14 after Veterans Day and the weekend.
Torres is facing charges of capital murder, rape and battery in the death of his son. Cathy Torres is facing the same charges and is expected to go before a jury in May 2017.
The prosecution is seeking the death penalty in both cases.