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Detention Center: Man fatally shot by police had "legal right" to leave jail

Update on Juan Torres

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Was the man fatally shot by Las Cruces police Sunday supposed to be in jail at the time?

Police officers shot and killed Juan Torres after he allegedly committed a robbery. Police say he was armed with a hunting knife and failed to obey commands to drop the weapon and lunged at officers.

Court documents show District Judge Douglas Driggers sentenced Torres on August 11 to serve more than a year in jail for violating his probation.

But on August 12, just one day later, Torres bonded out.

A court liaison at the Dona Ana County Detention Center tells ABC-7 it wasn't until August 17 the documents were filed and the jail was notified of his sentence. 

He said within those days, it was Torres' legal right to leave.

He said after the detention center learned of Torres' sentence, they sent emails to district court's probation office and Torres' bonding company but never heard back. 

A judge originally set a $5,000 secured bond for Torres before he was convicted on kidnapping and battery charges.

He added a bond ruling remains in effect until they're notified otherwise, and Torres was entitled to post it.     

But the district attorney's office says it's launching an investigation asking what led to his release and why standard operating procedures were not followed. 

"Mr. Torres was recently sentenced to two years in prison and should have been in custody at the time of the incident. My office is currently investigating what led to his release and why standard operating procedures were not followed," A statement from District Attorney Mark D'Antonio said.


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