A Wednesday morning bail hearing revealed new details of an alleged gang stabbing that left a Santa Barbara man dead.
Alejandro De La Torre, 23, appeared before Judge James Herman for a bail hearing at the Anacapa Division of the Santa Barbara County Superior Court.
Mr. De La Torre is charged as an accessory to the murder of Alberto Torres. Mr. Torres was found by police at around 1:15 a.m. on June 1 in the 1300 block of Cacique Street. He had suffered multiple stab wounds and was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital where he later died.
Igor Rai Ortiz, 20, Angel Rafael Bajaras Flores, 31, Adelain Leilani Ibarra, 20, were charged with Mr. Torres’ murder on July 8. Alondra Ochoa, 18, was also charged as an accessory at that time.
On Wednesday, Mr. De La Torre’s defense attorney Douglas Ridley argued Mr. De La Torre’s bail should be released on $100,000 bail into the custody of his mother and grandmother with “considerable,” terms and conditions.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Kimberly Siegel disagreed.
She noted Mr. De La Torre’s bail should be set at $1.1 million according to the county bail schedule. She added that the defendant’s alleged involvement in a stabbing murder and history of affiliation with the Westside street gang makes him a poor candidate for bail release.
Ms. Siegel said her investigation revealed that Mr. Torres, an Eastside gang affiliate, was found on the ground in front of a residence on Cacique Street with a trail of blood that led to his own residence nearby.
“It did appear that there had been a struggle. We found some blood and forensic in the neighbor’s yard…Investigators interviewed witnesses that said the victim was attacked by rival neighbors that were out tagging in the Eastside territory,” said Ms. Siegel.
“The victim’s brother said that he was inside the residence when he heard the victim’s voice outside the residence. He ran outside. He saw the victim there holding his chest. The victim asked to be taken to the hospital and when the brother asked, ‘Who did this to you,” he (Mr. Torres) used the derogatory term for the Westside gang saying ‘The Weaksiders, they got me.’ The victim died essentially in his brother’s arms,” she continued.
Ms. Siegel said that in the days following the fatal stabbing, Mr. De La Torre sent texts to the other defendants, urging them to “Be Chilin” and not be in the streets due to high police presence in their neighborhoods. He also made statements that suggested he had knowledge of the stabbing.
After considering Ms. Siegel’s statement, Judge Herman set Mr. De La Torre’s bail at $1.1 million. He remains in county jail custody.