PD: Suspect admits shooting man riding bike to work

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Jacob Anthony Torres By Jennifer Thomas Jacob Anthony Torres By Jennifer Thomas
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Phoenix police arrested a suspect in last week's shooting death of a 26-year-old father of four.

It was a whirlwind of emotions for Michael Harty's family as news of an arrest came on the same day he was laid to rest.

Jacob Anthony Torres, 21, now faces first-degree murder and armed robbery charges, accused of shooting and killing the 26-year-old Nov. 21.

“Michael would not want us to sit here and cry, he would not want that,” said Harty's mom, Cathi Caparella. “But it's not supposed to be this way, it's not supposed to be this way.”

Her son was gunned down near 107th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road while riding his bike to work. The one thing she is thankful for is an arrest in the case.

Phoenix police arrested Torres, who reportedly admitted to shooting Harty for, what his family calls, no good reason at all.

“Just because someone felt like pulling the trigger and wanted to feel what it's like to shoot and kill somebody is not a reason to me,” said Michael's sister, Jessica McCleese.

According to court records, Torres admits he asked Harty "to use his cell phone, to distract him, to shoot him." Torres claims "he was high."

“In a way it makes it worse,” McClesse said. “I wanted a reason.”

According to court records, the first number Torres called with Harty's cellphone was his own, which Harty's family finds very ironic.

“His last Facebook entry was 'stupid people shouldn't use smart phones' and that's how he was caught,” Caparella said.

According court records, Torres was arrested first the day after Harty's death for hindering prosecution. He was then released but police continued investigating. It turns out Torres lives right around the corner from where Harty was shot. Police got a search warrant and say they found Harty's cellphone in Torres' trash can and the gun used to kill Harty hidden underneath the mattress in Torres' parents' room.

Torres was then arrested for first-degree murder and robbery, his arrest coming just in time for Harty to be laid to rest.

“Just knowing he can never do this to another family is amazing,” McCleese saud.

Torres is being held at the Fourth Avenue Jail on an $850,000 bond.