Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Thanks but just throw away the key this time.......

"He understood the nature of his actions and took responsibility for them," stated attorney Glenn Hardy.

Norberto Torres, 47, quietly pleaded guilty on Oct 28 2014 to sodomizing and forcing oral sex on a Harlem NY neighbor's child on June 14 2013.  His guilty plea will prevent the now 6 year old victim from having to testify at a trial.  Norberto though had evidently not learned much during his previous incarceration for murder.  That is correct....... Torres was convicted in the brutal stabbing death of Sister Virginia Thomann, 65, in Jan 1987 at a Bronx NY shelter.

Sister Virginia Thomann was found dead in her office at My Brother's Place, a shelter at 342 Willis Ave, in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx.  A counselor and several residents returned from a Super Bowl Party  a little after midnight on Jan 26 1987.  They became concerned because her office door was closed at the time and she had always left it open, so they forced it open.  Thomann was found slumped onto the floor and had been stabbed four times in the neck.  Police at the scene believed that her killer probably was someone she knew since there were no signs of a struggle and her office door had been closed and locked after the murder.

The police had stated on Jan 27 1987 that they were seeking a former resident, Norberto Torres, for questioning.  He had evidently been asked to leave the home on Saturday for breaking the house rules of no drugs or alcohol and he had begun using drugs again.  He returned on Sunday, Jan 25 to gather his belongings along with a small sum of money.  Torres had argued with the staff at the shelter and demanded that they return more than the $100 they had given him but eventually did leave.  Police state that he returned again that Sunday night and stabbed Thomann to death in her office.

Torres was arrested that Tuesday on the charge of second degree murder in connection with her death.  He  was convicted and sentenced to 15 years to life but was paroled in 2009 after only serving 20 years of the sentence.  Torres is on parole for life and had been placed in a transitional home in Hamilton Heights NYC, where he met the victim of his next crime.  He was staying in the home when he met the young girl and her mother and managed to abuse her.

The woman's boyfriend found out about the abuse and his being the suspect and he took it upon himself to beat up Torres.  Torres ended up in the hospital with a broken skull and underwent surgery for bleeding in his brain, something he did take the time to whine about in court today.  He made it a point to state that he still suffers from health issues from the beating and injury but they did not affect his ability to plead guilty.  The plea saves the young victim from testifying but it also spares Torres from a lengthy trial that would probably end up with his receiving another life sentence.  He may well receive that though because he was on a lifetime of probation and the new conviction is certainly a violation of the probation.

Sister Virginia Thomann, a Sister of the Good Shepard, had only been working at the shelter since the previous fall.  She had been born in Cambria County PA and trained as a registered nurse before joining the Good Shepard Order in 1945.  For over 400 years, the Good Shepard order has been dedicated to helping and sheltering the poor.  She worked in a variety jobs in health and child care before applying to My Brother's Place, which had been founded in 1982 by Rev James McDonald.  She joined three other staff members who lived there and worked as a receptionist, book keeping and organizing the various voluntary religious services for the 12 residents.  Her funeral service was held privately but there was a public memorial service on the day following her funeral.

It would seem that the young man who had been a victim of circumstances when he was 19 and needing help.......... did not learn the lessons that a long prison sentence should have taught him.  He did not last long on the outside and the crime he did commit to get sent back, was horrific.  He does deserve to spend the rest of his days behind bars with no other chances for parole.





No comments: