WILKES-BARRE — Sean Talmadge kicked Ramon Torres in the head, sending him tumbling to the bottom of a basement stairway where he was repeatedly beaten and stabbed to death, a witness testified Friday.
Talmadge, 32, nicknamed “Juice,” saw charges of homicide and abuse of a corpse bound for county court at a hearing before District Judge Rick Cronauer.
The witness testified that he and Talmadge were drinking liquor with Torres, 23, in an abandoned residence on South Franklin Street in April when Talmadge lashed out and attacked Torres.
“Next thing you know, he had a knife in his hand. He was stabbing this kid,” the witness said. He added that he saw Talmadge bury the knife into Torres’ chest multiple times before a final plunge into Torres’ neck.
Investigators discovered the Kingston man’s body about two months later.
Wilkes-Barre Police Det. Charles Casey said the body was badly decomposed and had to be identified based on dental records. Articles of clothing were recovered that showed slit marks in the abdominal area, the detective added.
Torres’ spine was fractured with the knife, according to Casey.
Talmadge was identified as a suspect and was taken into custody in July.
During an interview, he told investigators he cut his hair to avoid apprehension, Casey said. Talmadge then detailed most of the events leading up to the stabbing, but used the word “poke” to describe the motion, Casey said.
He noted Talmadge claimed the wounds were non-fatal.
Police said in arrest papers that Talmadge refused to leave the house until he was certain Torres was dead.
While they were still searching for him, authorities said Talmadge was homeless. But they noted he was known to frequent Wilkes-Barre and the surrounding area.
The defense called no witnesses during Friday’s proceeding, but that’s common at this stage of a case. The burden is on prosecutors to prove they have enough evidence to proceed to trial.
Talmadge’s girlfriend, meanwhile, is accused of lying about his whereabouts.
Angela Dubeck, 36, of Wilkes-Barre, had a single felony count of hindering prosecution forwarded to county court last month.