An empty courtroom with benches, judges bench flag and elaborate chandelier.
An example of a courtroom, but not one in the story. Photo from Pixabay.

A man was sentenced Monday to 15 years to life in state prison for murdering his 66-year-old mother, whose body was found last year in a trash bin in Huntington Park.

Cristian Torres, 33, pleaded no contest June 14 to second-degree murder in the April 4, 2021, death of his mother, Teresa Pasillas-Iniguez.

The woman died from stab wounds to the chest, according to records from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.

In a brief statement before being sentenced, Torres said he was “sorry” and “didn’t know what to say.”

He said he understood that family members might not want to talk to him.

Family members said during the hearing that the woman didn’t deserve what had happened to her, with one describing her as a “kind, loving person” who brought happiness to everyone and “loved her son so much.”

“You are a monster,” one relative told the defendant. “You are no longer part of our family.”

Superior Court Judge Lillian Vega Jacobs told the family that she hoped Torres’ admission of guilt would be the first step toward healing in what has been a “tragedy.”

“There are no words to express what you are going through and what you will continue to go through for the rest of your lives,” the judge said.

Sheriff’s deputies had been sent to the residence in the 2500 block of Santa Ana Street that night on a report of a stolen vehicle, and learned that a female family member was missing, according to a statement released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“Preliminary information revealed foul play at the location and a stolen vehicle/missing person’s investigation was initiated,” according to the sheriff’s department.

The woman’s body was found at about 6:30 a.m. the next day in a trash bin not far from the residence, according to sheriff’s officials and the coroner’s office.

The stolen vehicle was found, along with the woman’s son, that day at a location in Rosemead. He was initially listed as a “person of interest” and was subsequently booked on suspicion of murder, according to the sheriff’s department.

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