For release on September 3, 2020
Deputy District Attorney
Mother Convicted of Accessory to Murder of Her Two-Year-Old Son
A San Jose woman was convicted by a jury today of allowing her two-year-old son, Apollo, to be abused and helping to cover up his sexual assault and murder by her fiancé, Manuel Lopez.
Samantha Torres, 27, was found guilty of permitting a child to suffer or endangering the health of a child; accessory after the fact to murder; and perjury under oath. She will be sentenced on September 28, 2020.
“Apollo lived a nightmare in the year leading up to his death. Samantha Torres failed to protect Apollo from her fiancé, and then chose to protect her fiancé during the subsequent murder investigation and prosecution,” Deputy District Attorney Lance Daugherty said. “We thank this jury for seeing the truth.”
On January 16, 2016, Apollo Torres was murdered during the commission of a sexual assault. During the subsequent investigation, law enforcement discovered that in the year prior to his death, Apollo suffered massive and multiple injuries including two broken elbows, a broken wrist, a break to his femur, a skull fracture, bruises, and broken blood vessels in both eyes. Evidence showed that his mother failed to seek medical care or lied about the nature of the injuries when she did, which prevented medical professionals from detecting the ongoing abuse. At the time of his death, Apollo had 18 scars on his body reflecting prior injuries. The Medical Examiner discovered that Apollo had 82 acute injuries from his head to his feet, including 48 bruises (both internal and external), 24 abrasions and 10 lacerations.
Apollo suffered so many injuries that it was impossible for the Medical Examiner to determine the exact mechanism of death. His cause of death was classified as “homicidal violence.” The scientific evidence indicated that Apollo was asphyxiated during the commission of a sexual assault.
The perjury charge stems from Ms. Torres’ false testimony at the preliminary hearing in the prosecution of Lopez, whose DNA and other trace evidence was found on Apollo’s body, clothing, and bedding from the night of his death. In June of this year, a jury acquitted Manuel Lopez of the murder of Apollo.