FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The same day accused killer Cid Torrez pleaded not guilty, he was also in a Broward County courtroom fighting for the custody of his children.
Torrez is charged with murdering his wife Vilet and leaving their 3 kids without a mother.
His attorney told a judge Thursday that Torrez will fight the state’s charge that he is not fit to care for the children he fathered with his wife Vilet.
He is absolutely fit to care for the children,” said attorney Allison Duffie.
Torrez’s lawyers say it’s possible that Torrez will be released on bond as they await trial and, if that happens, he would like to be with his children.
Torrez’s family filled the courtroom and his brother Douglas spoke to us for the first time since his brother was arrested.
“We’re all in shock,” Douglas told CBS 4′s Carey Codd. “It’s a tragedy for both sides we want to get to the bottom of everything, just like everybody else. We’re here supporting the kids.”
The kids currently live with Vilet’s family — the Blanco’s — and they say that’s where the kids belong.
“Emotionally where they are is the best place for them to be,” Javier Blanco said.
Douglas said his family wants to spend time with the children as well.
A judge said that might be possible — but only if they promise not to allow Torrez to have any contact with the children and family members do not discuss the case against him.
Douglas Torrez says his brother is not guilty.
“I’ve been with him my whole life,” Douglas said. “I’ve never seen a shot of violence from him at all whatsoever. Like I said, he’ll have his day in court and he’ll be proven innocent.”
Police have never found Vilet’s body but police do say they have a circumstantial case against Cid Torrez. Investigators say police dogs detected the odor of human remains in the back of Torrez’s car.
Police say Torrez spoke with a friend about harming his wife as the couple’s maital problems worsened.
Police also claim one of the couple’s children heard “howling” and “crying” from a bedroom the night Vilet died and heard her father saying, ‘No you wake up’ a couple of times.
Torrez’s brother says the kids never said anything to the family about that.
“I’ve been around the kids,” Douglas said. “The kids have never, ever said anything in regards to hearing or seeing anything.”
There will be a mediation in early January where DCF and the two families will try to decide what is best for the children.
If that fails there will be a trial in mid January.
The family of Vilet Torrez says they will argue strongly that the children are better off with them emotionally, physically and financially.