Man suspected of drunken driving in crash that led to officer’s death withdraws plea

Published 11:22 am Monday, May 23, 2022

Luis Torres, who previously pleaded guilty to an intoxication manslaughter charge in which a Beaumont police officer was killed, withdrew his guilty plea Monday morning.

Torres, 20, was set to be sentenced this week in Judge John Stevens’ criminal district court. He will now go to trial on July 18, according to information from the court.

He also previously pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for injuring a second officer. That case has been dismissed and will be refiled.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

On Aug. 9, 2020, 23-year-old Officer Sheena Yarbrough-Powell and then 28-year-old Officer Gabriel Fells were traveling northbound on Cardinal Drive near the Texas 347 overpass when a wrong way driver not using headlights struck them head-on.

Fells was taken to a hospital for severe injuries, underwent surgery and was released.

Yarbrough-Powell died at the scene.

Police said Torres was driving without a license and was believed to be highly intoxicated with a blood alcohol content of .296.