Renezmae Trial Delayed to Fall 2020

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Local artists Toby Morfin and Adrian Sandoval are painting a mural honoring Renezmae Calzada on the side of the La Joya Fire Station. Española Firefighter’s Union President John Wickersham said they are planning a community unveiling in January with the opportunity to add hand prints on the back of the building. He said Zia Credit Union purchased the paint with a $600 donation and the artists still plan to add wings behind Calzada and representations of the agencies involved in her search.

Malcolm Torres’ trial for the alleged murder of 5-year-old Renezmae Calzada was pushed back nearly a year Tuesday when the U.S. District Court accepted a joint motion from Torres’ defense and prosecutors for a continuance due to the complexity of the case.

Jury selection, with a trial to follow immediately, has been moved from Dec. 2 this year to Oct. 19, 2020.

The Nov. 13 joint motion stated extensive interviews, medical evidence and digital evidence have been collected in the case. Prosecutors reportedly provided the defense with thousands of pages of discovery—or facts of the case—as well as multiple recordings and a modified copy of Torres’ cell phone contents including nearly 30,000 images.

The parties said they will likely need to consult medical and possibly other experts to draft reports, and will each need to collect additional evidence.

While the Office of the Medical Investigator has reportedly provided preliminary autopsy reports, the final report is not complete.

The order from Chief United States District Judge William Johnson granting the motion sets out a 16-point schedule of deadlines for each party to complete aspects of pretrial research, documentation and motions.

Prosecution’s discovery deadline is Dec. 13 and the defense’s Jan. 10, with each required to disclose additional discovery to the other. Expert witness notices and reports are due April 13, and disclosure of witness and exhibit lists are due Aug. 10. A pretrial conference is set for Sept. 28.

The Sept. 24, 2019 grand jury indictment of Torres alleged he killed Calzada on or about Sept. 7, the day before her mother, Victoria Maestas, reported her missing. Maestas told E911 dispatchers on the evening of Sept. 8 that she was at work and that Torres, her ex-boyfriend, had just called and told her Calzada had been missing since 9:30 a.m.

Calzada did not attend her classes at Fairview Elementary the week before her death. After days of mass searching from several government agencies and scores of community members, law enforcement found her body Sept. 11 in the Rio Grande in Santa Clara Pueblo.

Missing Española Girl Found Dead

The Albuquerque Journal reported Maestas and Torres had been in a custody dispute and that a protection order previously filed by Maestas claimed Torres had threatened and physically hurt her in the past.

The FBI arrested Torres in Pojoaque Pueblo Oct. 27 with the assistance of the Española Police Department, according to an FBI press release. Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center officials had released him on good time for unrelated charges that morning, Center Public Information Specialist Candace Hopkins wrote in an email.

Torres pleaded not guilty at his arraignment and Judge Kirtan Khalsa opted to detain him until his trial, based on the nature of his alleged crime, prior failures to appear in court, and a criminal history including a string of DWI charges.

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