Andres Torres was sentenced to death by the State of South Carolina for a double murder: Ray and Ann Emery. According to court documents Andres Torres broke into the victim’s home and beat to death Ray and Ann Emery with a hammer. Andres Torres would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Andres Torres 2021 Information
Admission Date: 10/24/2008
Location: Broad River
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A man sentenced to death for a brutal double homicide was back in court Monday claiming that he received ineffective counsel and did not receive a fair trial.
Andres “Tony” Torres, 33, was found guilty in October 2008 of murdering Ray and Ann Emery. The Drayton couple was found beaten in their bedroom on May 11, 2007, after Union County authorities found their van wrecked with their belongings inside. Authorities say the murder weapon was a hammer.
Torres also was convicted of two counts of armed robbery and one count each of attempt to burn, first-degree burglary and first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Ann Emery was sexually assaulted. Gasoline was poured throughout the couple’s home at 12 Montgomery St., and four burners on the stove and oven broiler were set to high.
Six guards escorted Torres into Circuit Court Judge Derham Cole’s courtroom Monday.
One of Torres’ attorneys, Hank Ehlies, told Cole that during the sentencing phase, the judge who presided over the capital case was not clear that the jury was recommending the sentence and that the jury was the sole sentencing authority.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Melody Brown told Cole the original lawyers did not object. The jury was correctly informed, and jurors knew they were deciding Torres’ fate, the attorney said.
Cole denied the motion for a summary judgment and said jurors would have known they were recommending Torres’ sentence.
Ehlies argued that Torres’ original defense lawyers were ineffective for failing to object to the manner in which the law was charged to the jury. He said there was no strategic reasoning for the defense to remain silent on the matter.
Several witnesses also testified Monday.
Former Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office detective Reed Lindsay, who was lead investigator on the case, testified it was his understanding that Torres had an altercation with Ray Emery’s adopted son, Chuck Emery, before the deaths.
According to testimony, Torres threatened to kill Chuck Emery and his family.
Torres’ defense team suggested that another person was involved in the murder and that investigators never looked at other possible suspects. Lindsay, under questioning from Ehlies, said at no point in the investigation did he find anything that pointed to another person’s involvement.
“The person who committed the crime is sitting over there,” Lindsay said, nodding to Torres, who sat shackled in a green prison-issued jumpsuit.
Lindsay said he located Torres at a relative’s home, where he found shoes in a washing machine. He said the tread on the shoes matched bloody shoeprints tracked through the house. Lindsay acknowledged that there were unmatched shoeprints, but said that was to be expected because original responders did not know what they would find at the crime scene.
Lindsay said only a “select few” knew how the couple was killed, but said Torres told him during an interview that he knew the couple had been beaten to death. Lindsay said Torres’ semen also was found at the crime scene, but could not recollect collecting DNA samples from others to compare to forensic evidence.
Ann Emery’s daughter, Crystal Williamson, testified that Torres’ defense attorney did not contact her about the case.
“I never thought Tony Torres did this by himself,” Williamson said.
Lt. Tony Ivey with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said in a written statement that, “The evidence in this case did not lead investigators to any other individuals having been involved in this case. Had the evidence pointed to the involvement of anyone else they would have been charged along with Mr. Torres.“
The hearing resumes at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.