Young man accused of killing woman, raping another faces death penalty

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SAN DIEGO - The man accused of murdering an elderly woman and raping another in a violent home invasion in Del Cerro faces the death penalty.

San Diego Deputy District Attorney Marisa DiTillio said 20-year-old Eduardo Torres is not only responsible for murder, but for sexually assaulting and torturing his victims.

“Very vicious. This is frankly everyone’s worst nightmare,” said DiTillio.

Eduardo Torres

Eduardo Torres appears in court

Torres, who looked disheveled and worn out as he faced a judge for the first time at San Diego Superior Court, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Torres is accused of holding two women captive at their home on Mill Peak Road in the Del Cerro neighborhood on Sunday night.

According to Ditillio, Torres was unable to break into a home nearby, then broke into a second home with a 56-year-old man, 74-year-old woman and another woman in her 50s inside. The man was able to escape. Prosecutors said Torres then held the women hostage at knifepoint.

“He proceeded to sexually assault the 50-year-old victim while inflicting injuries, lacerations and stab wounds to the elderly woman who ultimately died of those injuries,” said DiTillio. “He continued to harm the victims while the SWAT officers were there trying to save their lives.”

Police arrest Eduardo Torres after a fatal home invasion on Mill Peak Road in Del Cerro.

Police arrest Eduardo Torres after a fatal home invasion on Mill Peak Road in Del Cerro.

San Diego police identified the woman who died as Ut Nguyen of San Diego. The surviving woman was visiting from Chicago.

Torres was charged with burglary, torture, rape and murder. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

“The special circumstances that are alleged in this case, the attempted rape, the oral copulation, the torture and the residential burglary make him eligible for life without parole or the death penalty," DiTillio said.

Torres is being held on no bail. His status hearing is scheduled for June 29.