In a powerful, gut-wrenching moment, family members got to address for the first time the man responsible for the kidnapping, torture and murder of a young couple nearly a decade ago.
One by one, family members addressed 39-year-old convicted murderer Nicolas Monarrez in court on Friday. The man organized the murders of 18-year-old Linoshka Torres, who was five months pregnant, and her boyfriend, 19-year-old Luis Campos, in January 2007.
A month after the expecting couple went missing, their bodies were found dumped off the Dowdy Ferry Road bridge in southeast Dallas. Investigators say Monarrez mistakenly believed the couple stole money and drugs from him.
"Did my sister plea for her life,” Rachell Torres asked his sister’s killer. “Did she plea for her baby's life?"
"You took my son's life,” said Campos’ mother, Daniella Ortega. “You took my daughter-in-law and granddaughter's life."
"I want you to know my face,” said Mark Garcia, the victim’s nephew. “Because when you get out, I will be waiting."
"You are not a person, you are a monster. You're not an animal, you're a monster,” Rachell said. "You deserve a lethal injection as soon as you walk out of here."
As Monarrez got up to walk out of the courtroom, he turned and addressed the families.
"I want to ask forgiveness for everything that happened,” the convicted murderer said.
Rachell says the Dallas County District Attorney's office never discussed a 15-year plea bargain with them for the three murdered family members nor did the DA’s office notify them Monarrez was taking the plea last week. She says just before court Friday morning, the DA’s office told them why they had to offer the plea deal.
"They said that the confessions weren't done properly and so therefore they could not be used in court,” Rachell explained. "We didn't get any justice.”
No one from the DA’s office would talk on camera but said in a statement, when there are evidence issues, they will plead the case “to an amount of guaranteed prison time, rather than take a chance on the defendant walking free from a jury trial."
“This is an injustice for our family and for our community,” said Rachell. “Because when this monster gets out, we are all going to be in trouble. He will do it again, and it might even be worse."
Monarrez is already in prison until 2021 on unrelated charges. When that time is up, he will begin serving his 15 year sentence.