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Aurora man in High St. bridge crash gets prison

Updated: February 19, 2013 3:13PM

ST. CHARLES — Joel Torres told his girlfriend she “deserved to die” before trying to steer her SUV off the High Street bridge in May.

Now, Torres, 27, is headed to prison after pleading guilty this month to burglary as part of an agreement with prosecutors who originally charged him with attempted murder and criminal damage to property, court records show.

Torres, of the 200 block of North Fourth Street in Aurora, was sentenced to four years in prison with credit for nearly 250 days spent in Kane County jail. He was also ordered to pay restitution for damage caused to the bridge.

Police said Torres sat in the passenger seat of the woman’s 2005 Chevy Blazer, along with a 1-year-old child in the back seat, as the couple argued. While the truck crossed the bridge, Torres grabbed the steering wheel in an attempt to steer the SUV off the side. Instead, it slammed into a concrete wall. No injuries were reported.

Prosecutors said Torres entered the truck with intent to commit criminal damage to property — which was the basis for the amended charge of burglary.

Court records indicate the woman had an active order of protection against Torres at the time of the crash. The protective order was granted in May 2011, lasting until May 2013, after she alleged Torres made threats against her and was once choked by Torres.

In May 2011, Torres was charged with slapping the woman and then taking her cellphone when she tried to call police. He later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic battery, records show.

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