(CBS) — A man charged with killing two girls in north suburban Zion was preparing to go on trial Monday in a separate slaying in Virginia.
WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports Jorge Torrez, a former Marine, is accused of killing a 20-year-old Navy petty officer Amanda Snell five years ago, and could face the federal death penalty if convicted. Opening statements in that trial were scheduled for Monday at a federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va.
Torrez, 25, already is serving five life sentences for rape, kidnaping, and other charges in Virginia.
He allegedly killed Snell in 2009 while Jerry Hobbs sat in jail after being wrongfully charged with stabbing his own daughter and another girl to death in a park in Zion in 2005. Torrez was later charged with those murders, after DNA evidence cleared Hobbs and pointed to Torrez as the killer.
Torrez is still awaiting trial in the murders of Laura Hobbs, 8, and Krystal Tobias, 9.
Federal prosecutors allege Torrez killed Snell, and committed another kidnapping and rape, while Hobbs was in custody for the Zion killings. The Chicago Tribune reports, if Torrez is convicted of killing Snell, federal prosecutors could present evidence of the Zion murders at sentencing in an effort to have him put to death.
Hobbs sued Lake County law enforcement officials, claiming he was physically and psychologically abused until he provided a false confession to those murders. He was held for five years before prosecutors dropped charges, even though it was known for two years that semen found on one of the girl’s bodies wasn’t a match for Hobbs. He settled his lawsuits against police and prosecutors for more than $6 million.