Friday, September 26, 2014
Sept. 22, 2014
Torres Boles was sentenced to life in prison without chance of parole Monday after being convicted last week for the death of his 3-year-old daughter in February 2013.
The sentencing was moved up and handed down by Liberty County Superior Court Judge Paul Rose Monday afternoon in the Liberty County Justice Center.
Boles’ trial ended last Wednesday and his sentencing was to take place in two weeks. The reason it was moved up was not explained.
The trial painted a brutal picture of the last 24 hours of Andraia Boles’ life and how it ended at the hands of her father.
Boles’ public defender, John Ely, asked for leniency, saying his client had no criminal history prior to the incident. He said Boles had received several military medals during his eight years of service. He said Boles was deployed for 15 months in Iraq and later 13 months in Afghanistan. During both deployments Ely said his client had seen his friends killed in combat.
“He never received any type of grief therapy… He was never assessed for post-traumatic stress disorder. He was never taught how to deal with his emotions or his anger issues or his need for isolation. And perhaps that may be part of the reason we find ourselves in this situation today,” Ely said.
Atlanta Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Melissa Poole said Boles didn’t deserve any leniency.
“His 3-year-old daughter will never have the life that he is asking the court to give him here today. She just turned 3 when he brutally beat her to death… She was treated like a pet. He never did anything for Andraia and now he is asking the court to do something for him. He is not entitled to it. His actions deserve the harshest punishment,” Poole said.
She said even in prison Boles will receive better treatment than what he gave his own daughter for the past few months of her life.
Rose faced Boles and asked if he wanted to make a statement. Boles said, “No.”
The judge then spoke to Boles before handing down the sentence and said, “…The evidence is absolutely horrific. The pain and agony that you imposed on your daughter Andraia and what she endured was absolutely unspeakable. From the time that she was about 2 1/2 years old you and your wife made a decision, a very selfish decision, to not provide any care for that child. And all I could imagine is what terror went through her mind as she cried and she fell and she stumbled and there was nobody there to provide her with love or help. You literally bludgeoned her to death. By your own admission, you left her in that tub moaning in pain as her life was literally oozing out of her body. It’s beyond horrific.”
Boles was sentenced to life without parole for the felony murder charge, 20 year for the two counts of cruelty to children in the first degree to run consecutive to the murder sentence, 10 years for cruelty to children in the second degree, also consecutive, and 12 months for the misdemeanor charge of deprivation of a child to run concurrent to the murder charge.
Jury quickly reaches Boles guilty verdict
Sept. 19, 2014
The jury didn’t deliberate long in the state’s case against Torres Boles. The six men and six woman took less than an hour Wednesday to find the Hinesville man guilty of felony murder, three charges of cruelty to children and one charge of deprivation of a child — his own daughter, Andraia Boles, who was 3 years old at the time of her death.
The jury did acquit Boles on one count of malice murder.
The trial started Monday at the Liberty County Justice Center, where it took nearly three hours to select 12 jurors and two alternates.
Afterward, Atlantic Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Melissa Poole began the methodical task of presenting a mountain of evidence that detailed the last 24 hours of Andraia Boles’ life. She died Feb. 26, 2013, at her Bannon Court home and, as Poole proved, her death was the result of injuries inflicted by her father, Torres Boles.
The jury heard how Boles and his wife, Candice Boles, kept the child locked in the bathroom for months at a time, claiming they had no funds for a babysitter or day care.
Poole presented photos depicting the immaculate interior of the house as well as the 60-inch flat screen TV in the living room and 46-inch flat screen in the master bedroom. Tied into the 60-inch was a surround-sound system, several gaming stations as well as a vast collection of Blueray discs and gaming videos. The couple also had their own laptops and various other electronic devices.
The jury was shown pictures of Andraia’s bruised and battered body. They watched as autopsy photos were shown and the state’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Edmond Donohue, detailed 56 pieces of external evidence of physical abuse in 64 areas of her young body that displayed scars that were older and had healed. The doctor also indicated massive internal bleeding had occurred throughout her body and brain. The child’s skull exhibited multiple fractures, some of which ran three layers deep into the brain’s tissue.
Boles never took the stand in his own defense, but the jury did hear Boles’ own words. More than four hours’ worth of audio, taped by lead investigator Doug Snider of the Hinesville Police Department, was played. One portion of audio, nearly three hours long, included the interview Snider conducted with Boles after reading him his Miranda rights.
Throughout his interview, Boles said he had not touched the child other than spanking her behind a month earlier. He acknowledged the scars on the girl’s buttocks were from him and said they never healed properly because of her diapers and Pull-Ups training pants. Boles could be heard crying on the audio and, in the courtroom, he occasionally wiped away tears or shifted in his seat when photos were shown.
Forensic pathologists determined that most of the samples taken from the crime scene by HPD Detective Elizabeth Jackson contained Andraia Boles’ blood. The swabs were taken from the bathroom, where Boles had confined and punished the girl the night she died. She was disciplined for stuffing toilet paper down the toilet, reportedly causing it to back up and flood a large portion of the house.
While under interrogation, Boles first claimed he never touched the toddler and only made her stand in the corner of the living room while he labored over the wet carpet and floor. But as the hour passed, his story continued to change and Snider pressed on.
Boles said he didn’t beat his daughter. He said he saw the injury he previously had caused and wanted to use a different form of punishment. He said he placed her in the bathtub and allowed her to continuously slip and hit her head as he soaked up the water and wrung towels out in the tub around her.
Two-and-a-half hours into the interview, Boles said he might have taken the punishment too far, but he still claimed he put the child in the bedroom she shared with her older sister so she could go to sleep.
The state later proved that wasn’t the case. According to evidence presented, Andraia, in soaked clothes, spent the night in the wet tub and died as her mother and father slept in their bed just a few feet away.
Boles’ attorney, John Ely, contended from the beginning that it was the child’s mother, Candice Boles, not Torres, who was responsible for the toddler’s death.
Ely presented testimony by Medical Examiner Dr. Adel Shaker regarding the time of the child’s death, in which he claimed Andraia died just a few hours before 911 was called and not the night before, as Donohue’s testimony indicated. He said his client couldn’t have caused the girl’s death, since he was doing PT at Fort Stewart at the time she died, and it was Candice Boles who was the last person to see her alive. He also said it was Candice who delayed calling 911. Instead, she called her husband first to report their daughter was unresponsive. Ely said Candice then ate an apple and played video games while she waited for her husband.
Poole presented Medical Examiner Dr. James Downs, who said the techniques described by Shaker are not the standard used in the United States. He added that, based on the circumstances of the incident and the extensive evidence of child abuse, the test Shaker recommended would constitute medical malpractice.
In the end, it was Boles’ own words that the jury requested to hear just prior to rendering a verdict. They asked the court to replay a portion of audio that was taped just before Candice Boles and Torres were taken to Liberty County Jail. The couple were allow to see each other one last time before being escorted to jail.
“I’m sorry … I didn’t mean for none of this to happen,” Torres Boles said to his wife. “I fucked up…I did this shit…I left her in the bath tub.”
Candice Boles will be tried later. She is charged with being party to murder and one count of cruelty to children.
Forensics paint grisly scene
Trial on for father accused of killing daughter
Sept. 17, 2014
Forensic scientists testified Tuesday that most of the blood taken from a crime scene in February 2013 was that of 3-year-old Andraia Boles.
Tuesday was the second day of the murder trial of the child’s father, Torres Boles.
He is charged with two counts of murder, three counts of cruelty to children and one count of deprivation of a child, which resulted in the death Andraia Boles at their Bannon Court home Feb.26-27, 2013.
Assistant District Attorney Melissa Poole still was presenting the state’s case Tuesday morning. Her first of three witnesses were forensic biologists with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, who testified about evidence collected from the scene by Hinesville Police Department Det. Elizabeth Jackson.
During her testimony Monday, Jackson spent more than an hour presenting it, displaying some for the jurors.
Among the items were dirty Tickle Me Elmo pajamas that Andraia Boles likely was wearing before her death, soiled socks and objects and photos that showed what may be blood.
Jackson had testified she had taken 10 possible blood samples.
GBI biologists Tara Ransom, Barbara Retzer and Rachel Duke testified the samples were blood and all but one was from Andraia Boles.
Before lunch, the state called HPD Det. Doug Snider, the case’s lead investigator.
Jurors got a glimpse of what took place that day in February as they listened to taped conversations between Snider and Boles.
They heard a distraught Boles cry as Snider told him his daughter had died. Boles was heard saying his life was over, that he had no reason to live.
It was unclear when the defense would start its case.
Monday morning, six men and six women were chosen for the jury along with two alternates.
Poole said during opening statements that the state would show Andraia Boles died of blunt-force trauma and that the injuries were the result of Torres Boles’ punishment.
Boles’ public defender, John Ely, said the defense would prove his client was not with the child at the time of her death. He added that the actions of the child’s mother, Candice Boles, before emergency personnel were called would cast doubt about his client’s culpability.
Candice Boles, the wife and co-defendant, will be tried later. She is charged with being party to murder and one count of cruelty to children.
Among the first witnesses was the child’s grandmother, Gaynell Jacobs. She cried as the state showed a photo of Andraia Boles. She said she had not seen the girl or her older sister, Darria Boles, for some time. She and the girls’ father did not get along. She said she often told her daughter Candice Boles she disagreed with how Torres Boles treated the girls.
The state then called first responders, officers, paramedics and Dr. Bobby Herrington, a physician at Liberty Regional Medical Center.
All described finding the child cold, with no vital signs and substantial swelling to her head.
Herrington said the child’s core temperature was 84 degrees. He added that the child had rectal tearing. As he described her injuries the jury saw photos of her battered body.
Torres Boles shifted in his seat and looked away from the monitor.
State presents its case in toddler murder trial
Sept. 15, 2014
Six men and six women were chosen and the trial for alleged child murderer Torres Boles promptly started Monday afternoon at the Liberty County Justice Center.
Boles faces two counts of murder, three counts of cruelty to children and one count of deprivation of a child allegedly causing the death of his three year old daughter Andraia Boles at his Bannon Court home between Feb.26-27, 2013.
Atlantic Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Melissa Poole explained, during opening statements, that the state was ready to produce sufficient evidence to show Andraia Boles died of blunt force trauma. She said the state would prove the injuries were the result of Torres Boles’ punishment to the child the night before.
Boles’ public defender John Ely said he will present information proving his client was not with the child at the time of her death. He added that the actions of the child’s mother Candice Boles, before emergency personnel was called to the house, were questionable and would cast doubt about his clients culpability in his daughter’s death.
Candice Boles, the wife and co-defendant, will be tried at a later date. She is currently charged with party to murder and one count of cruelty of children.
Among the first witnesses called to the stand was Boles’ grandmother Gaynell Jacobs. She cried as the state posted a photo of young Andraia Boles. She said she had not seen Boles or her older sister Darria Boles for quite some time. She and the little girls’ father Torres Boles did not get along. She provided a brief explanation saying that she often spoke with her daughter Candice Boles about how her husband treated the children and how she disagreed with it.
The state then called several of the first responders, officers, paramedics and Liberty Regional Medical Center contractor physician Dr. Bobby Herrington.
All described finding the child was cold to the touch, had no vital signs and had substantial swelling to the head area.
Dr. Herrington said the child’s body core body temperature was 84 degrees. He added the child had some rectal tearing. As he described the various injuries and degrees of trauma the jury watched as photos of the young girls’ battered body was placed on their viewers.
Torres Boles shifted in his seat and looked away from the monitor.
More compelling testimony followed as the state called Hinesville Police Detective Elizabeth Jackson to the stand.
For more than an hour Jackson and Poole presented evidence she had collected from the crime scene, including a dirty two-piece Tickle Me Elmo pajama Andraia Boles was likely wearing just before her death, a heavily soiled pair of socks that were worn by the toddler and a slew of objects and photos that showed where the detective had spotted what may be blood splatters or smears from the bathroom the child was enclosed in the time during which the incident occurred.
Among the evidence presented was a pair of size 12 sneakers Jackson said has what appears to be blood spots on the front.
The trial is expected to last until Wednesday and is being presented before Liberty County Superior Court Judge Charles P. Rose
Trial for toddler’s death starts Monday
Sept. 11, 2014
Boles faces two counts of murder, three counts of cruelty to children and one count of contributing to the deprivation of a child for allegedly causing the death of his then 3-year-old daughter, Andraia Boles, in their Bannon Court home on Feb. 26, 2013.
Boles’ wife and co-defendant, Candice Boles will be tried later. She is accused of one count each of cruelty to children and being a party to murder.
The case focuses on the final days of Andraia Boles’ life. In previous hearings, Hinesville Police Department Det. Doug Snider testified the couple would lock the toddler in a bathroom for hours. This reportedly went on for approximately six months.
On Feb. 26, the girl apparently clogged the toilet, causing flooding. As punishment, Torres Boles allegedly put his daughter in the bathtub, mopped up the floor with a towel and wrung it out in the tub where she stood. According to previous testimony, Boles claimed the girl slipped several times and hit her head on the tub. Boles denied hitting the toddler, but told Snider that when she tried to climb out of the tub, he knocked her hands down, causing her to hit the tub again. Snider said the toddler had extensive bruises on her head and buttocks. Snider said Boles admitted the child was so severely bruised the following morning that she could barely open her eyes. Boles reportedly told Snider he changed her into dry clothes but kept her locked in the bathroom when he left for Army training. He reportedly woke up the child’s mother and said the little girl was in the bathroom and OK.
Candice Boles found the young girl unresponsive later that morning.
Snider also testified the toddler showed signs of previous physical abuse.
Public Defender John Ely pointed out his client, Torres Boles, called 911 even though the child’s mother found her unresponsive.
The couple has another daughter who is living with other relatives. During testimony, Snider said it appears that both children were treated the same way except. The older girl had turned 4 and started attending pre-K. Testimony indicated the couple spent money on two new cars, a 40-inch TV and other household items but not on childcare for when Candice Boles was in school and Torres Boles was at work.
Candice Boles is represented by chief conflict defender with the Georgia Public Defender's office, Stephen Yekel.
Ely filed a motion for separate trials. He also filed a motion for a change of venue saying his client couldn’t be tried fairly in Liberty County because of publicity and community outcry. While his motion for the separate trial was granted, the change of venue was denied.
An April evaluation by the Forensic Services Division of Georgia Regional Hospital found Torres Boles to be mentally competent to stand trial.
Jury selection starts at 9 a.m. and the trial will begin once the jury is seated. The case will be tried before Superior Court Judge Charles P. Rose.