Teen arrested, charged with killing sister

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Date: 2008-06-22

BY DANZA JOHNSON

TUPELO - After a month-long investigation, the 17-year-old accused of killing her 2-year-old adopted sister is in custody of the Union County Sheriff's Department.

Bond for Marina Torres of 824 County Road 87, New Albany was set at $1 million after her Tuesday arrest for alleged capital murder. Torres has been a patient at Saint Francis Mental Hospital in Memphis since speculation that she may have caused the death of her adopted sister Enna Barreto last month.

Enna died in a Memphis hospital May 19 from head trauma. Family members said she fell from a shopping cart in a Memphis store.

Investigator Roger Garner said the Union County Sheriff’s Department has been working very hard to get someone charged with the child’s murder.

"After a month we finally got the suspect in custody," said Garner. "We are keeping her in an undisclosed location."

Torres' parents, Ramon Barreto, 29, and Janet Killough Barreto, 36, are still in the Union County Jail on seven counts of child endangerment each and their bonds are set at $350,000. Enna was one of seven Guatemalan-born children adopted by the Barretos who were living in trailers with a puppy mill operation outside.

Bond reduction requested
The Barreto's attorney, Tony Farese, requested a bond reduction for his clients on June 13 and feels the arrest of Torres should be enough to get that request granted.

"My clients have given statements already and have cooperated with authorities," said Farese. "They did not kill their 2-year-old daughter and it’s my understanding that the 17-year-old daughter did and was charged for it. My clients will be willing to take a polygraph test if they need to."

Oxford defense attorney Thomas Levioditis, who is Torres' attorney, was not available for comment.
Garner said information Torres has provided during interviews may lead to charges against the Barretos being upgraded.

Contact Danza Johnson at 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com

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