Torres to be held until trial in Renezmae Calzada's death

By Danielle Prokop
Posted 10/31/19

ALBUQUERQUE - Malcolm Torres pleaded not guilty Tuesday (Oct. 29) to a charge of second-degree murder in the death of 5-year-old Renezmae Calzada of Española and waived his right to a hearing to determine if he should be incarcerated until his trial.

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Torres to be held until trial in Renezmae Calzada's death

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ALBUQUERQUE - Malcolm Torres pleaded not guilty Tuesday (Oct. 29) to a charge of second-degree murder in the death of 5-year-old Renezmae Calzada of Española and waived his right to a hearing to determine if he should be incarcerated until his trial.

U.S. District Judge Kirtan Khalsa in Albuquerque ordered Torres' detention until trial, citing his criminal record, his failure to appear in court, his history of alcohol abuse and the violent crime he is accused of committing in September, when Renezmae disappeared from the yard of a home in Española and was found dead a few days later.

"I find you are both a danger to the public and a flight risk," Khalsa told Torres.

Torres, 26, is the former boyfriend of Renezmae's mother, Victoria Maestas, and has a young son with her. Maestas reported Renezmae missing Sept. 8. Her body was found in the Río Grande on Sept. 11, following a massive search.

The day after Renezmae's body was found, the FBI announced it was taking over the investigation, based on where Renezmae had gone missing and the sites of possible crimes connected with her death - all within the boundaries of Santa Clara Pueblo, which falls under federal jurisdiction.

The FBI has released little information about the case.

But court documents unsealed Monday said a federal grand jury indicted Torres less than two weeks after Renezmae's body was recovered.

The indictment accuses Torres of killing a Native American girl, identified in the document only as "Jane Doe," on Sept. 7, one day before Renezmae was reported missing.

Torres initially was described as a person of interest in the girl's disappearance.

He was taken into custody by the Río Arriba County Sheriff's Office on outstanding warrants from an unrelated DWI case during the search for her.

Late Sunday, the FBI announced he had been arrested in Pojoaque on the second-degree murder charge by federal agents and the Española Police Department.

He could face life in prison if he is convicted of killing the girl.

Doug Couleur, Torres' attorney, and Sean Sullivan, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, declined to comment on the case.

Renezmae's family members who attended Tuesday's hearing also declined to comment.

Maestas, 33, was involved in a tumultuous four-year relationship with Torres, according to court documents.

Records indicate the couple separated over the summer and that Maestas filed for a protective order against Torres in August, alleging he routinely hit her, threatened her and had held a knife to her throat in an incident about a year ago.

The court granted Maestas temporary custody of the children Aug. 9, and a week later the couple agreed to share custody, alternating weeks, until the custody dispute could be settled.

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