People grieve outside of the funeral of one of the 19 children killed in the Uvalde massacre. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images.
People grieve outside of the funeral of one of the 19 children killed in the Uvalde massacre. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images.

Father denied temporary release to go to daughter’s funeral, one of 19 victims in Uvalde


Protección Temporal

Septiembre 22, 2023

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Eli Torres, who is currently incarcerated in a Kentucky prison, lost his 10-year-old daughter Eliahana in last month’s mass shooting at Uvalde Elementary School.

Torres was convicted of drug trafficking and conspiracy in Del Rio, Texas and is scheduled for release from McCreary United States Penitentiary in February 2033. Torres was just one week away from an in-person visit with his daughter before she was killed.

Despite public appeals, Torres was denied a temporary release by the Federal Bureau of Prisons to attend his daughter’s funeral on May 24. Instead, he was only given the option to watch the live streamed service on June 2.

Kim Kardashian, who has been studying law and actively advocating for criminal justice reform, joined elected officials like Kentucky State Representative Attica Scott, in urging the Bureau to reconsider their decision and grant Torres a temporary compassionate release.

A compassionate release is a process by which incarcerated individuals may be released temporarily on grounds of “particularly extraordinary or compelling circumstances which could not reasonably have been foreseen by the court at the time of sentencing.”

According to FBOP policy, an incarcerated individual may be granted furlough, or temporary release, to fulfill purposes such as visiting a dying relative, attending a funeral of a relative, obtaining medical treatment, and other needs.

Torres lost his fourth-grade daughter in one of the deadliest school shootings in Texas’ history, and attending her funeral would qualify as a valid reason for a temporary furlough. 

“I ask the Federal Bureau of Prisons to grant Eli Torres temporary release so that he can say his last goodbye to his baby girl. Every parent deserves that right,” Kardashian tweeted on June 2. 

Rep. Attica Scott sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, asking them to step in and allow Torres to attend Eliahana’s memorial service. 

In her letter, Scott referenced Torres’ positive rehabilitation record and behavior, saying “I can only imagine the depth of the void that these victims’ absences will leave in their family’s lives…Anything you can do to help these families is greatly appreciated.”

The Uvalde shooting took the lives of 19 children and two teachers after an 18-year-old gunman entered the school carrying two military-grade rifles. 

The gunman spent about an hour and 20 minutes inside the school before police outside entered the building. They only sprung into action after numerous 911 calls from students inside classrooms and desperate pleas from parents waiting outside, urging the officers to intervene. 

In fact, one parent, Angeli Gomez, was handcuffed by federal agents after urging them to take action. After she was released, Gomez hopped a fence and rushed into the school to save her two sons by herself. 

After opening up publicly about her experience, Gomez told CBS News that she has been contacted by someone in law enforcement, and she was told if she continued speaking out about the botched police response, she would be charged with a probation violation for obstruction of justice. 

Gomez has been one of the most vocal critics of the mishandled police response

“They could have done something. Gone through the window, sniped him through the window. I mean, something! But nothing was being done. If anything. they were being more aggressive on us parents that were willing to go in there,” Gomez said. 

Even though her father was not permitted to attend, 10-year-old Eliahana “Ell” Torres was laid to rest on June 2. Eliahna loved to dance, and could scroll through TikTok for hours. However, she developed a new passion: playing Little League softball, and she was hoping to make an all-star team. 

“Eliahna was a master of jests and loved making people laugh. At such a young age, she was nurturing and always putting others before herself,” her obituary reads. 

Her grandfather, Victor M. Cabrales, told The New York Times that her family jokingly called her “enfermerita,” or “little nurse.” After Cabrales had heart surgery a few years ago, Eliahna accompanied him on his doctor-prescribed walks, made sure he took his medications, and would pour him ice water to enjoy after work on hot days. 

“She was my love. She was one of a kind,” Cabrales said. 

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