‘He handed me the gun’: Man testifies against brother in capital murder trial

Eduardo Torres facing life in prison if found guilty

A man on trial for capital murder came face-to-face with his brother who testified against him on Friday.

SAN ANTONIO – A man on trial for capital murder came face-to-face with his brother who testified against him on Friday.

Eduardo Torres is on trial for the 2016 robbery and shooting death of 21-year-old Nathan Valdez.

Valdez was killed near a bus stop on South Presa. Eduardo’s brother, Leonard, testified that they targeted Valdez after seeing him counting his money while leaving a convenience store.

Leonard Torres took a plea deal in the case for a 45-year sentence and agreed to testify against Eduardo Torres.

Leonard Torres told the jury Friday that he shot Valdez, but said it was his brother who handed him the gun.

“He handed the gun to me and that’s when I blamed him and said, ‘If I pop him it’s basically your fault,’” Leonard Torres said on the witness stand.

Leonard Torres testified that he stole $50 from Valdez and that he and his brother split the money.

“I took $30 and I gave him $20,” Leonard Torres said.

Testimony in capital murder trial reveals brothers blaming one another for 2016 murder

During cross-examination, defense attorney John Economidy tried to discredit Leonard Torres’ testimony by pointing out that he had a long list of criminal activity and had previously been ruled incompetent to stand trial in a previous case in Chicago, where the brothers are from.

While Leonard Torres didn’t deny his criminal record he did say his brother, Eduardo, had been with him in other crimes committed, including the day he shot another man a month after Valdez.

Both Torres brothers were indicted on an aggravated robbery charge for that separate incident.

Eduardo Torres will not take the stand in his defense, but his father Eduardo Torres Sr. did, and talked about how Leonard fell off a balcony as a child and hit his head.

“He changed a lot after that fall, in a bad way,” Eduardo Torres Sr. said. “I would say he became violent.”

On Friday, both sides rested and closing arguments will take place on Monday.

If found guilty, Eduardo Torres is facing an automatic sentence of life in prison.

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About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with more than 12 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.