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NM man sentenced to 35 years behind bars for stepdaughter’s murder

An Española man has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for the 2019 beating death of his 5-year-old stepdaughter, federal officials announced Monday.

U.S. Attorney Alexander M.M. Uballez and Special Agent Raul Bujanda of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office announced the sentencing of Malcolm Torres in a joint statement.

Torres for years had never taken responsibility for the crime, Uballez said.

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“Today we received a first apology, a final justice, and an opportunity to more forward together,” Uballez said in the statement.

Torres was given the sentence in exchange for pleading guilty in April to second-degree murder in the slaying of Renezmae Calzada.

He was facing a potential felony charge of first-degree murder, which could have brought life in prison.

After serving his sentence, Torres will be under supervised release for five years.

Torres, 30, was tasked with watching the girl and his 18-month-old son in Sept. 7, 2019. According to prosecutors, he was heavily intoxicated at the time.

When the girl’s grandparents arrived at the home the next day, Torres said Renezmae had gone missing.

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Her mother reported her missing. Police say Torres would not help them and even gave false and misleading information.

The girl’s body was found three days later on the Santa Clara Pueblo in the Rio Grande, a mile from the Española yard where she was last seen. Her body showed signs of blunt-force trauma to her head, torso and extremities.

The investigation into her disappearance and death brought together federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement.

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