Tomas Lopez Torres Jr.’s 2012 crimes nearly killed Doug Haddon, according to the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office. Haddon is the owner of the Hock Shop pawn shop on Gresham Road, just north of the Big Chicken on Cobb Parkway. On April 14, 2012, Torres ambushed Haddon from behind and stabbed him twice, once across the abdomen and once in the hip.
The knife cut 14 inches across Haddon’s abdomen, leaving a gash on his hip 6 inches deep. Torres, now 20, pleaded guilty to that attack along with armed robberies against seven people and three stores between Feb. 17 and May 7 of 2012.
Haddon pointed out the sentencing came almost exactly two years after the attack. The man told the court details of his recovery and the effect the attack had on his family, life and business.
“I have to live with this grotesque scar on my abdomen and my hip every day,” Haddon told the court.
Several other victims also testified about the terror they experienced when Torres pointed a gun in their face and robbed them.
“He came very, very close to a murder charge,” said senior ADA Ann Harris, in asking for the life sentence. “He had everything -- a family that loved him and raised him right. And this is what he chose to do in the community.”
After the stabbing, an off-duty Marietta police officer was shopping at Wal-Mart and noticed a knife for sale in the camping department was the same kind of knife used in the stabbing. It turns out Torres had purchased the knife there only days before the crime. Video of the purchase helped lead police to Torres.
Torres also testified during the hearing, saying in the spring of his senior year at Wheeler High School he was hanging with the wrong crowd and using marijuana and cocaine, saying he committed the robberies for money to buy the drugs.
Family and friends of Torres testified on his behalf, calling him a smart, kind, dependable person while begging the judge for mercy.
Cobb Superior Court Judge Robert E. Flournoy III then sentenced Torres to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the armed robberies along with 20 years to be served concurrently on the other charges.
Torres was represented by Marietta attorney Kenneth Croy.