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News- early July articles relating to Enna’s death, Marainna Torres pleads guilty

This is sort of a part II to the update I did last night, “News- End of June articles relating to Enna’s death- lots of new developments.” The inclusion of these three articles brings my coverage up to date.

Torres pleads guilty in stepsister’s death

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, July 2, ‘08

Marraina Torres pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges stemming from the death of her 2-year-old stepsister.

Torres, 17, pleaded guilty to manslaughter by culpable negligence after initially being charged with capital murder. She was not sentenced but faces 2-20 years in prison.

Teenager admits killing sister, 2

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, July 3, ‘08

A tearful Marainna Torres stood before Circuit Court Judge Andrew Howorth on Wednesday and publicly admitted she killed her toddler stepsister, Enna Barreto.

She gave no details but nodded her head and said “yes sir,” when asked if she were indeed guilty of manslaughter by culpable negligence.

The legal document accusing Torres of the child’s death states that she did so “by hitting and throwing” Enna into a baby bed May 17. The child died two days later.

(Which would imply the abuse that led to Enna’s death took place in Mississippi before the trip to Memphis, .)

On May 30, the 17-year-old Torres was charged with the capital murder of her 2-year-old sister, carrying possible sentences of life in prison or the death penalty.

Her plea Wednesday now puts the sentence in the two to 20 years range.

Torres also caused a brief stir in the court when she told Howorth she was pleading guilty to a reduced charge “for a lighter sentence.”

Her attorney, Thomas Levidiotis of Oxford, quickly jumped in verbally when Torres said she was promised leniency for her plea.

That’s not really what she meant, he chattered in legal talk to Howorth.

District Attorney Ben Creekmore also was quick to say his office hadn’t promised anything to her in exchange for her guilty plea.

“Even if they did,” Howorth said to her, “this court would not be bound by it.”

Perhaps what you mean, Howorth continued, is that in pleading guilty to a lesser charge than capital murder, you anticipate a lighter sentence?

Yes, she responded.

and (The Barettos’ lawyer Tony Farese points out:)


“She’s pled down from a possible death penalty case to testify against her parents.

“I believe she has been promised a lighter sentence,” Farese noted from Torres’ remark in court.

Torres was not sentenced, further hinting at her likely testimony in a trial against the Barretos.

Creekmore said he was withholding comment until the Barreto case is “taken care of.”

A September grand jury is expected to consider what charges ultimately will be brought, if any, against the Barretos, who live in rural Union County.

And a final detail:

Union County sheriff’s Investigator Roger Garner said Torres is in an “undisclosed” jail within easy reach of him and her attorney.

The AP also issued a brief story with no other new details based on the DJ article:

Torres pleads guilty in stepsister’s death

AP July 3, ‘08

This hardly concludes the question of how did Enna eventually come to die? More details will likely be forthcoming as the Barretos’ trial moves forward.

Before we can answer how she died, though, we first need answers to how she lived; how did Enna, along with her other ’siblings’ (both the two legally adopted, and the other five Guatemalan[?] kids without adoption paperwork) come to live with the Barretos, how the Barretos came to pass them off as ‘their’ ‘adopted’ children, and what the children endured in the Barreto household.

For now, the various investigations, both state and federal continue. We can only hope, and continue to demand that the right questions are being asked.

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