Missoula prosecutors are consolidating the domestic abuse cases filed earlier this year against the former drummer of the once-popular Johnny Cash cover band, The Cold Hard Cash Show.
Felipe "Fel" Torres, 43, was charged in January with the alleged assault of his then-girlfriend at her workplace. In July, the Missoula County Attorney's Office filed new charges against Torres for allegedly strangling and assaulting the same woman, as well as violating a restraining order filed against him in connection with the January charge.
On Tuesday, county prosecutors moved the January assault charge in city court into Torres' district court case at the request of city prosecutors, according to court filings.
Search warrant documents filed earlier this month indicate Torres re-emerged in the woman's life in April by texting her from a "disguised phone number," knowing that doing so violated he January restraining order, which expires in 2024. He eventually contacted her by his known number and convinced her to move back into his home, according to court documents.
Torres told a Missoula County Sheriff's detective he had screen shots of text messages he had sent the woman, as well as photos of the woman's injuries from the July assaults, according to the search warrant filings issued for Torres' cellphone.
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In total, Torres now faces in Missoula County District Court two charges of partner-family member assault, both misdemeanors, and felony strangulation. If convicted on all charges, he could face a possible five years in prison, two years in county jail and a $52,000 fine.
The Cold Hard Cash Show disbanded less than a month after Torres' initial assault charge. The Missoulian published a story in February outlining a decade of domestic abuse and violent tendencies alleged against Torres from his former girlfriends, roommates and a bass player, who said Torres was allowed to continue with the band because Cold Hard Cash had been dependent on his business savvy.
Women who spoke with the Missoulian for the report described behavior similar to disguising phone numbers to make contact with them after they had separated from Torres.
His past convictions include a violation of a restraining order and a handful of traffic tickets. In 2005, he was found not guilty of an assault charge.
Torres remains jailed on $30,000. His next hearing is set for Oct. 24 in Missoula County District Court.