ORLANDO, Fla. – A status hearing for an Orlando woman accused of zipping her boyfriend inside a suitcase during a game of hide-and-seek and leaving him to die as he called out her name was continued Tuesday because her attorney recently contracted COVID.
Sarah Boone, who faces a second-degree murder charge in the 2020 death of Jorge Torres Jr., did not appear in an Orange County courtroom for the hearing. Her trial, which had been scheduled to begin Jan. 30, is now set to begin around April 10, the judge said.
[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider]
Boone’s attorney, Frank Bankowitz, appeared virtually at the meeting and said he will present a “battered spouse defense” at trial.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were called to a Winter Park home in February 2020 after Boone reported that Torres, her boyfriend, was dead.
Deputies said she told investigators they were playing a game of hide-and-seek and they thought it would be funny if Torres got into the suitcase, according to an affidavit.
Boone told deputies she zipped Torres into the suitcase but passed out in her bed, according to court records.
Investigators said she told deputies that she woke up later and realized Torres was still in the suitcase.
When Boone found Torres unresponsive in the suitcase she told deputies she called her ex-husband who lives a few minutes away. After seeing Torres’ body the ex-husband told Boone she needed to call 911, records show.
Deputies said they found Torres’ body near the front door near a blue suitcase.
Torres had a small laceration on his lip and bruising around his eye, according to the arrest report. He also had scratches on his back, among other injuries, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office. Boone denied being in a physical altercation with Torres.
The sheriff’s office said Boone gave verbal and written consent to let deputies search her phone.
Two videos were found on her phone, and investigators said one video shows Torres yelling at Boone and telling her he can’t breathe while Boone laughs at his yelling.
“I can’t (expletive) breathe, seriously,” Torres said in the video and Boone replied, “Yeah, that’s what you do when you choke me.”
Deputies said Torres continued to tell Boone he could not breathe while calling her name.
“That’s on you. Oh, that’s what I feel like when you cheat on me,” Boone said in the video, according to court records.
According to the arrest affidavit, the video shows the suitcase facing downward with Torres pushing on the suitcase in an attempt to get out. The second video showed the suitcase in another position as if had been moved.
Deputies said Boone could be heard laughing in the video and telling Torres to “shut up” as he called her name.
Boone told Torres this was “for everything you’ve done to me,” according to the video.
When she was shown the videos by investigators, Boone said she didn’t remember taking them and it looked “bad.”
After Boone’s inconsistent statements and reviewing the videos found on her phone investigators decided to charge her with second-degree murder.
Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily: