It began with a press release from the Tom Green County Sheriff's Office stating that 41-year-old Eric Torrez from Abilene had been missing since July 21 and they suspected foul play.
On July 20, court records show that Kristen Jennings, mother of Torrez’s two children, had gone to Taylor County with her husband, Stephen Jennings, and her father in law Garry Jennings. Their goal, follow Torrez to find out where he and Kristen’s daughter when to day care.
According to sworn affidavits by the defendants, on July 21, Stephen Jennings contacted Torrez to ask for a bid on a construction job. The Jennings trio admitted that this was a plan to get Torrez away from his home in Abilene so Kristen and her father in law, Garry could take the little girl who under Torrez’s care.
When Torrez arrived at the Jennings’ home on Duckworth Road, he was then held against his will by Stephen Jennings and David Navarro. According to a statement given by a witness, Navarro texted her and showed her a video of Torrez after an alleged assault. She told police he was bleeding, looked worn out, and appeared to have been there for some time. She said Navarro had scratches on his knuckles. She stated, in the video Navarro yelled at Torrez who had moved his head but wasn't combative or attempting to leave, then she saw another person hit Torrez.
While that was happening, Kristen and Garry allegedly went into Torrez’s home, assaulted his mother and took the girl. According to the documents, another alleged accomplice is Angella Wray. She stated her job was to contact another person to aid Jennings in the assault of Torrez but that person declined. Wray also watched Kristen and Torrez’s son and another one of Kristen’s children during the alleged attack.
When Garry Jennings returned to the home, he told police he saw Torrez’s body on the floor. He said that his son, Stephen Jennings, had admitted he got into a verbal and physical altercation with Torrez, then gained possession of a firearm and shot and killed Torrez.
After working on this case since Torrez was reported missing, on July 25 detectives discovered that Torrez’s phone had pinged off of a tower near the home on Duckworth Road just before 1:20 on Friday afternoon.
Two days later, law enforcement served a search warrant on the home where they found blood spatter in the area Torrez had been shot.
On August 4, Torrez’s body was found by the Tom Green County Sheriff's Office in a remote area of Crockett County. Torrez's body was taken to Lubbock for an autopsy where the cause of death was verified; a single gunshot wound to the head.
Stephen Jennings has been charged with murder and tampering with evidence.
David Navarro, charged with murder and assault.
Garry Jennings, charged with tampering with evidence and engaging in organized criminal activity.
Kristen Jennings, burglary of a habitation and engaging in organized criminal activity.
And Angella Wray, engaging in organized criminal activity.