Man to serve consecutive life sentences for robbery murders


Gilberto Torres-Reyes (Photo: Lebanon County District Attorney’s Office)

LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) — A man convicted of killing two men he hired to help him get away following a bank robbery will now serve consecutive life sentences for first-degree murder.

Judge Bradford Charles sentenced Gilberto Torres Reyes on two counts of first-degree murder and other charges on Wednesday.

“Our victims died alone, in the rain, on a dark roadway. Each man gasped for air, choked on his own blood, and ultimately died as a result of the defendant’s heinous actions,” said District Attorney Pier Hess Graf. “The defendant fled; he expressed no remorse. Even as the jury read its verdicts the defendant remained stone-faced and cold. There is not one redeeming quality of the defendant; he has seven prior robbery convictions alone.”

Authorities say Torres Reyes offered $400 each to 27-year-old Alexis Rafael Perez-Garcia and 34-year-old Jelson Dejesus-Ortiz to drive him to Pittsburgh, but they were later found slain on Route 72 in Cornwall, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Reading.

Both men had been shot in the back with a .22-caliber pistol, authorities said.

Police found a handgun on the road near the crashed vehicle as well as a cigarette butt in an ashtray from which they recovered DNA that matched that of the defendant, authorities said.

Witnesses reported seeing Torres Reyes flee the scene and try to carjack a passing motorist before he escaped, prosecutors said. Federal marshals arrested him several days later at a New York City hospital where he was using a false name, authorities said.

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