On Wednesday, Renville County Attorney Kelsie Kingstrom announced two sentencings to start off the 2023 judicial year: Samuel Torres and Luciano Martin. According to Kingstrom, these sentencings are significant because of the message they send about Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines presumptive sentences.
A release from the Renville County Attorney’s Office Wednesday stated, “The year of 2022 saw Renville County defendant’s receiving departures on presumptive prison sentences at a staggering rate, which was very concerning. This means that defendants committing crimes that were presumed to receive a prison sentence are back within the Renville County community. Departures from presumed sentences are generally discouraged and are intended to apply in only a small number of cases.
Torres was sentenced on Jan. 4, to 39 months with the Department of Corrections after being convicted of Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a crime that took place back in April of 2021. According to the complaint filed in court, law enforcement made contact with Torres after he was observed parked at the intersection of County Road 19 and US Highway 71 with no lights illuminated. Law enforcement observed signs of impairment in Torres, and noticed that he had an open beer on the center console, and was clutching an orange pouch which held 15 grams of methamphetamine. Torres also refused to submit to a breath test for driving while impaired.
Torres has a prior felony criminal history including Intentional Murder with a Deadly Weapon, Burglary, Possession of Cocaine, and Controlled Substance Crime in the Fifth Degree. He also has a pending file in Renville County Court in which he is charged with seven counts including Escape from Custody, Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree, Fleeing, and Driving While Impaired in the Second Degree.
Luciano Martin was also sentenced on Jan. 4 to 45 months with the Department of Corrections after being convicted of Assault in the Second Degree and Domestic Assault, both crimes that took place in May of 2022. According to the complaint and facts presented at trial, Martin punched Victim multiple times in the face and head with a closed fist, prevented her from leaving her apartment, and continued to strike her multiple more times holding a knife. Defendant also provided a false name to law enforcement upon their arrival.
Martin has a prior felony criminal history including Fleeing a Peace Officer, Domestic Assault by Strangulation, Domestic Assault, and Stalking. Defendant also currently has pending charges in Nicollet and Blue Earth Counties for Assault in the Second Degree and Domestic Assault.
Kingstrom commented, “The Renville County Attorney’s Office will always argue for the Court to impose the presumptive sentence according to the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines, which works to maintain uniformity, proportionality, rationality, and predictability. Even more so, following the guidelines the rest of the state is following also encourages safety for the community. Seeing the Court follow those guidelines on the first two sentencings of 2023 is a sight for sore eyes after the 2022 Renville County statistics.”