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Alleged Drunken Driver Charged in Deaths of 3 Family Members Rejects Plea Offer

Jersey City man pleads not guilty to all of the charges in the 13-count indictment for last summer's Route 15 crash.

Luis Torres (Photo credit: Morris County Prosecutor's Office)
Luis Torres (Photo credit: Morris County Prosecutor's Office)
A Jersey City man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that included aggravated manslaughter and vehicular homicide in the Route 15 accident that killed three of his relatives last August.

Luis E. Torres, 37, pleaded not guilty in Superior Court in Morristown to all of the charges in the 13-count indictment, according to NJ.com.

His attorney, Arthur Abrams, said he is rejecting Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Brian DiGiacomo's plea offer that would sentence Torres to 27 years in prison with his client having to serve nearly 23 years before becoming eligible for parole, according to NJ.com.

The offer called for Torres to plead guilty to three counts of vehicular homicide and the manslaughter charges would have been dismissed, NJ.com reported.

Torres was indicted in March on three counts of first-degree aggravated manslaughter, three counts of second-degree vehicular homicide, one count of third-degree assault by auto, five counts of fourth-degree assault by auto and one count of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

Torres is accused of causing the deaths of his mother-in-law, Lucila Colon, 62, Julissa Colon, 36, and her unborn baby, and his stepdaughter, Tevia Booth, 11, when his 2002 Ford Explorer flipped over in Jefferson after a day of drinking at Lake Tomahawk on Aug. 24, 2013, according to an arrest affidavit.

According to an arrest affidavit, Torres told authorities he was "probably twice the legal limit" when he got behind the wheel of the Explorer—carrying eight other passengers including three children—to drive home from Sparta on Aug. 24.
Mrs. Smith April 24, 2014 at 06:17 PM
Sure - plead not guilty, don't take the plea deal. Make the citizens of NJ pay your court costs and legal fees. This man deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison!

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