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story.lead_photo.caption Jose Alonso Torres

BENTONVILLE -- A Rogers man will spend at least the next 50 years in prison for killing his former girlfriend.

Jose Alonso Torres, 27, pleaded guilty this morning to first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault. He was charged with an enhancement for committing a crime in the presence of children.

He pleaded guilty under an agreement Robby Golden, Torres' attorney, reached with Jong Shin, deputy prosecutor.

Torres was originally charged with capital murder.

He admitted to shooting and killing Norma Salinas, 24, while she sat in a Chevrolet Tahoe at a mobile home park on April 3, 2018 at North Bloomington Road and Fullerton Avenue in Lowell.

Torres and Salinas had been in a relationship for five years, but family members told police Salinas had been trying to end it, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Torres was trying to get in the Tahoe, but the doors were locked, according to the affidavit. Ivan Salinas, Norma Salinas' brother, told police he stepped in and told Torres to leave his sister alone.

Ivan Salinas said he tried to push Torres away, but Torres pulled a gun with his right hand and pointed it at him. Then Torres turned and fired one shot through the Tahoe's passenger window, hitting his sister, Ivan Salinas said.

Ivan Salinas and Torres struggled over the weapon again before Torres fired two more shots through the passenger window, according to the affidavit.

Areli Soto, Ivan Salinas' girlfriend, was in the driver's seat of the Tahoe. Torres' and Norma Salinas' 1-year-old daughter was in the back seat, according to court documents.

Soto told police after Torres fired the gun, Norma Salinas turned to her and said, "He shot me," according to court document.

Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green accepted Torres' guilty plea and sentenced him to 72 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction. He will have to serve at least 50 years before he will be eligible for parole.

The judge asked Torres whether he had anything to say to Norma Salinas' family members, who sat in the courtroom.

He declined to speak. Green told him she was about to order him not to have any contact with the family and it would be his last opportunity to speak with them.

Torres paused and then asked forgiveness and apologized.

"It's been rough on me also," he said.

He referenced God and then said, "Hopefully, I become a better person down the road."

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