Española man sentenced to 35 years in prison for death of stepdaughter
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There is finally a sense of justice tonight, four years after the horrific death of 5-year-old Renezmae Calzada. She was reported missing near Española in September 2019. Her body was discovered in the Rio Grande just a few days later.
Renezmae’s stepfather, Malcolm Torres, will spend 35 years in federal prison for beating her to death. He admitted to killing her and signed a plea deal earlier this year.
Torres was in federal court for sentencing Monday. The judge told the court this is one of the most difficult cases he has presided over.
Renezmae’s family told the court how much she loved her stepfather, and how much she looked up to him. They made sure to remind the court how he brutally beat her to death and dumped her body.
Her family wore black shirts with Renezmae’s photo on the back. They told KOB 4 after the hearing what a happy little girl she was. Her favorite movie was “Frozen,” and she loved Barbie dolls, books, and pink things.
Her family said she loved her baby brother, who was there with Renezmae and Torres on the day she was killed. They hope Torres thinks about her every day for the next 35 years – though they don’t think that’s enough.
“My daughter was absolutely beautiful, gorgeous – her smile would light up a room, her energy was just enough to rub off on you. I’m grateful for the little time I did have with her and I wish I had more,” said Victoria Maestas, Renezmae’s mother. “There is no sentence that will ever bring justice to a family who has lost someone.”
Torres took a plea deal earlier this year and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. In exchange, some lesser charges were dismissed. Documents say he was drunk when he killed Renezmae.
The autopsy detailed numerous injuries covering much of her body, but it says the fatal blow was to her head. The judge mentioned Monday that the charges – as originally indicted – could have been considered for the death penalty.
KOB 4 asked prosecutors why things changed course, but they told us they couldn’t get into those inside conversations and negotiations.
Torres did make a statement Monday. He apologized for killing Renezmae and asked for forgiveness.
Torres will spend the next 35 years in prison. In the federal system, he does have the opportunity to qualify for good time, which could potentially slice off 15% of that sentence.
Once he’s out, he cannot have any contact with children under the age of 18.