Port Arthur man pleads guilty, is sentenced in 2nd case after crash killed officer

Published 4:43 pm Monday, March 20, 2023

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Luis Torres, who was found guilty in the intoxication manslaughter crash that killed a Beaumont Police officer, pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for injuries to a second officer.

Torres, 21, of Port Arthur made the plea in Judge John Stevens’ court and was sentenced to 20 years in prison to run concurrently with his 20-year sentence in the death of Officer Sheena Yarbrough-Powell.

Port Arthur Police Det. Eric Thomason, left, and others prepare to release balloons in 2021 in a show of support for Beaumont Police Department for the one year anniversary of the death of BPD Officer Sheena Yarbrough-Powell. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Stevens said Torres refused the right to appeal his sentence as part of the plea agreement.

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In addition, the State agreed to dismiss an intoxication assault case against Torres. He will be given credit for time served.

On Aug. 9, 2020, Torres, then 18, had a blood alcohol content almost three times the legal limit and admitted during the Yarbrough-Powell trial that he was black out drunk and didn’t remember getting behind the wheel of his mother’s Ford Mustang prior to the wreck.

He was driving the wrong way on Cardinal Drive near Texas 347 in Beaumont when he struck a BPD patrol unit head-on.

In addition to killing Yarbrough-Powell, the crash left Officer Gabriel Fells with broken ribs, among other injuries.