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Man who beat, robbed estranged wife found guilty

A Buffalo man who beat and robbed his estranged wife was found guilty on robbery charges by an Erie County jury following a six-day trial, according to the Erie County District Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors said 45-year-old Raphael Torres was found guilty Friday of second-degree robbery and two counts of third-degree robbery.

Torres faces a maximum of 21 years in prison when sentenced April 24 by Erie County Court Judge Suzanne Maxwell Barnes.

According to prosecutors, Torres' estranged wife was on her way to work on March 2, 2018. She was stopped at a traffic light on Fulton and Smith streets when Torres banged on her minivan with an ice pick. She tried to lock her doors, but Torres was able to open the rear door and unlock the driver's door before pulling the woman out of the vehicle and throwing her to the ground.

Prosecutors said Torres punched and kicked the woman, ripped her purse from her hands and fled in her vehicle.

The following day, Torres allegedly approached another female outside a store on Bailey Avenue and Broadway. Prosecutors said Torres grabbed the woman's purse and fled in the same minivan he had stolen.

Police spotted the vehicle on Fillmore Avenue and Broadway. Torres led police on a foot chase, before he was apprehended.

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