• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Norma Lopez murder suspect's release, re-arrest is 'unusual'

Jesse Perez Torres, 35, (left) was arrested in the murder of 17-year-old Norma Lopez, who disappeared July 2010.

October 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The suspect in the Norma Lopez murder investigation was released from jail Monday night because charges hadn't been filed within 48 hours of his arrest. But then 35-year-old Jesse Perez Torres was quickly re-arrested on the front steps to allow that 48-hour time period to start over again.

"It's fairly unusual that this would happen, but the law does allow for this," said John Hall of the Riverside County District Attorney's Office. "It's not anything that our offices uses a lot or is going to abuse in any way whatsoever. We just want to make sure we get the case right, that we file on the right person and the right charges are filed, if any are filed in a case like this."

Lopez, 17, disappeared July 2010 while walking to a friend's house after attending class at her high school in Moreno Valley. Five days later, her body was found in a field.

The D.A.'s office said charges could have been filed against Torres before an arrest was made. But for some reason, it didn't happen that way.

After following up on thousands of leads for more than a year; the D.A.'s office now has less than a day to decide whether Torres will be charged or will go free.

"Our priority is we want to get it right," Hall said. "We don't want to have charges filed against the wrong person, we don't want to have charges filed in a case where it's nothing we'll be able to prove before a jury of 12 people beyond a reasonable doubt."

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department isn't commenting on its investigation.

Load Comments