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Suspects in Snellville triple murder, Lilburn toddler killing indicted

Luis Efrain Torres

Luis Efrain Torres

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Robert E. Bell

LAWRENCEVILLE — Indictments were passed down Wednesday in two high-profile Gwinnett murder cases.

A Gwinnett County grand jury indicted Robert E. Bell on three counts apiece of murder, felony murder and aggravated assault, as well as a single charge of aggravated battery. Arrested in New Orleans, La., just two weeks ago, Bell is accused of ambushing, shooting and killing three people — including a 12-year-old and 19-year-old — inside their home near Snellville on the night of Sept. 15.

Bell reportedly fled that scene on foot and authorities searched for him in several states before a stolen car led them to New Orleans. Bell and his wife were on hard times and had been taken in by one of the victims, 34-year-old Angelina Benton, just a few weeks prior to the shooting.

An alleged motive for the assault remains unclear. A fourth victim was shot in the leg during the incident but survived.

Also indicted this week was Luis Efrain Torres, accused of accidentally shooting and killing his 2-year-old grandson during a domestic dispute. The indictment included one count of felony murder and two counts of aggravated assault.

According to police, 39-year-old Torres was arguing with Rochell McCoy, his daughter’s boyfriend and the father of young Deandre Vega, when the Aug. 20 incident escalated. Torres reportedly fired two shots at McCoy as he fled the garage of his home on Stafford Drive in Lilburn.

Instead, one bullet pierced Vega’s heart.

Torres is being held without bond in the Gwinnett County jail, while Bell is in a Louisiana facility awaiting extradition.