WILLMAR — Danny Torres of Willmar remained in custody as of Tuesday on charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment and threats of violence stemming from an incident in late May.
Danny Torres was in Kandiyohi County District Court last week on a group of seven open criminal court files, several of them felonies. His next court date is a Sept. 23 pretrial hearing for all the cases.
Franky Esquivel Torres, 33, Danny Torres’ brother, was in court the same day with five open court files. He has varying upcoming court dates — Aug. 26, Sept. 1, Sept. 23, Sept. 24.
Many court hearings were delayed when the state's courts curtailed activity during a state shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. The number of cases heard in the state's courtrooms is expected to increase this month.
One incident, from late last year, involved charges against both brothers.
The two and Samuel Lee Berends, 28, of Willmar, were arrested in November 2019 and charged for allegedly breaking into a Willmar apartment, threatening the woman who lived there and taking her purse.
The first-degree burglary charges in the case were dismissed in the spring, but other charges of assault and theft are still pending. The burglary charges were dismissed based on new information, according to court records.
Danny Torres has requested a furlough from jail in order to go to inpatient treatment, but that has not been granted. He is in the Kandiyohi County Jail on bail of $200,000 for release without conditions and $100,000 for release with conditions.
Franky Torres was furloughed to an inpatient treatment program in April.
Danny Torres was charged in late May with kidnapping to commit great bodily harm, false imprisonment — intentional restraint, possession of a firearm after conviction for crime of violence, threats of violence, second-degree assault — fear.
According to court records, a man contacted Willmar police saying he was frightened for his young child, because some people were accusing the child’s mother of “snitching” that caused several drug raids.
The man told authorities Danny Torres took him to a southwest Willmar house, according to the court file. Danny Torres and a woman at the house allegedly used zip ties to tie the man’s hands together in front of his body.
Torres allegedly pointed a gun at the man’s head and asked questions about his child’s mother. The man estimated he was in the house for longer than two hours, and he believed they would kill him. Danny Torres questioned him again while feeling his pulse and then gave him a ride home.
The man said he had a chance to run from the house at one point but did not out of concern for what could happen to his child. “I’d rather them have me,” he told the police.
Police found a gun in the house in a search and tracked the serial number to a gun that had been reported stolen in Willmar, according to court records.
In other files, Danny Torres is accused of gross misdemeanor domestic assault and of violating a domestic-abuse-no-contact order, drug possession, firearm possession and threats of violence.
Franky Torres was charged in January with two felonies — second-degree drug sale and third-degree drug possession. Torres was the driver of a vehicle with a passenger who had an active arrest warrant.
When pulled over by Willmar police, the area the passenger had been sitting was searched. After finding what they believed to be methamphetamine weighing 41.3 grams, about 1.5 ounces, and suspected synthetic marijuana, they searched the rest of the car.
The continued search found 13.8 grams, about a half ounce, of suspected methamphetamine, a digital scale and cash in the car and on Franky Torres, according to court records.
Franky Torres was charged in December with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and other felonies for allegedly giving drugs to an underage girl who was a runaway and for having sexual contact with her. Other charges from that incident include a felony for causing or permitting a child or vulnerable adult to be exposed to meth and a felony fifth-degree drug possession.
Other charges pending against him include drug possession, firearm possession and assault.