(VitalNews.org) – A 30-year-old man from New Orleans has accepted a plea deal for the killing of David Sorenson, a 73-year-old tourist, on December 2, 2022. The plea deal sees Martin Hurtado convicted solely of manslaughter instead of going to trial for murder in the second degree and charges of resisting arrest and committing criminal mischief. He was sentenced to 40 years imprisonment for his crime, whereas otherwise he faced a potential full-life term.
When questioned by police officers, Hurtado admitted to drinking in the restaurant he was employed at on the night of the killing and claimed to have no memory of his actions after leaving the establishment. The restaurant was situated close to the hotel in uptown New Orleans where David Sorenson was staying with his wife Barbara on a trip from their home state of Missouri.
Police say that surveillance footage shows Hurtado walking through the hotel and knocking on various doors. He is also said to have set off a fire alarm with the intention of causing guests to leave their rooms. When Hurtado managed to gain entry to the Sorensons’ room, he is alleged to have punched him in the face. Barbara Sorenson ran to get help for her husband, but when paramedics were able to reach him, they found him in an unresponsive state. He died later that night in hospital.
Police arrested Hurtado at the scene, and he remained in jail on a $600,000 bond before taking the plea deal. The District Attorney for the Orleans Parish, Jason Williams, said that the plea deal was a positive outcome as it would save Mr. Sorenson’s family the additional stress and trauma of having the case be tried in court. He also said that it would bring a sense of closure to the ordeal, as it prevents Hurtado from mounting any legal appeal. The offer of the plea deal was made to Hurtado with the approval of Sorenson’s family members, who Williams explained were kept informed throughout the process.
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