NEW ORLEANS – The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office (OPDA) secured a conviction, via guilty plea, of defendant Martin Hurtado for an incident that took place in the 2100 block of St. Charles Avenue in Uptown New Orleans on December 1, 2022. Hurtado pled guilty to manslaughter and a sentence of 40 years, for his role in the killing of 75-year-old tourist, David Sorenson.
District Attorney Jason Williams said, “Today, as we grieve the tragic loss of an innocent visitor in Uptown New Orleans, we must stand united in our call for public safety. This office will continue to devote our strongest efforts to justice for families who have lost loved ones. Every resident and visitor who sets foot in our city should feel safe, welcomed, free from the threat of violence. We demanded accountability for Mr. Sorenson and his family, and our prosecutors, with the help of NOPD, worked tirelessly to secure a conviction. This resolution not only resulted in a substantial 40-year prison sentence, it removed the risk of an extremely emotional and stressful trial process for the family of Mr. Sorenson. The family was consulted throughout the entire process and obtaining a conviction with a sentence of 40 years was a decision made with their blessing. Let this conviction send a resounding message to our community that we will not tolerate the senseless loss of life and that we are committed to ensuring the safety and security of all who visit and reside in our beloved city.”
According to New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) reports, the defendant forced his way into a hotel room after pulling the fire alarm to simulate an emergency that would cause unsuspecting hotel guests to open the door when he knocked. Police found the 75-year-old victim unresponsive and suffering from trauma to the face inflicted by the defendant, who was hiding in the bathroom of the victim’s hotel room when police arrived on the scene.
The defendant will be sentenced to 40 years at hard labor in the Department of Corrections.
For more information on the work of OPDA, visit orleansda.com.