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Herrera sentencing reset

Jose Raul Herrera-Torres

Editor's note: Information for the following story was provided by Jason Brown, publisher/editor of the Long Prairie Leader.

The sentencing of convicted murderer Jose Herrera-Torres has been rescheduled.

Herrera was convicted last month in the second degree murder of his girlfriend, Dominga Guerrero, at their Long Prairie home.

Now, the defense is arguing there were several deficiencies in the case and trial that should prompt the court to acquit, dismiss or grant a new trial to Herrera.

Defense attorney Jason Sellnow, in his motion to the court, argued that the state failed to meet its burden to introduce sufficient evidence to sustain a conviction.

Sellnow further argued that the state failed to prove that Herrera did not act in self defense, they called no witnesses to controvert his testimony or to rebut testimony that the decedent was the aggressor, nor did they present evidence or argument that some of Herrera's wounds were not consistent with self inflicted wounds.

Additionally, the motion asserts that the state further failed to prove that Herrera intended to kill Dominga.

The prosecution, which is headed up by the Minnesota Attorney General's office, says an acquittal or new trial would not be in the best interests of justice. They contend there was no irregularity in the trial proceedings or any order of the court that deprived the defendant of a fair trial.

The attorney general's office also asserted that there was no basis for a new trial based on the averment of prosecutorial or jury misconduct.

Todd County District Court Judge Daniel A. Benson will hear arguments on the motion January 24 at 10:30 a.m. in Todd County District Court.