Felimon Salas, who was facing charges of domestic violence and torture in Tulare County, California, has been convicted in absentia by a jury. The Tulare County District Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday that Salas did not appear for the final day of his trial, leading to the conviction. Authorities are now searching for Salas to proceed with his sentencing. If found, Salas could face life in prison.
According to prosecutors, Salas repeatedly and violently assaulted the mother of his child, causing significant injuries with his fists, cooking utensils, and beer bottles in early 2021. The victim suffered lacerations and bruising to her head and neck, as well as cracked teeth. Testimony revealed that Salas even forced the injured victim to walk up a hill to “earn her spot back in their family.” Following the incidents, Salas fled to Mexico to evade arrest but was apprehended in February 2022 based on a tip.
Despite initially being held on a $500,000 bail, Salas’ bail was reduced to $50,000, allowing him to be released from jail. Sensing the strength of the charges against him, Salas disappeared again before the final day of his trial. The jury ultimately convicted him of torture, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and five counts of domestic violence. Several counts were enhanced with special allegations of using a deadly weapon and inflicting great bodily injury.
District Attorney Tim Ward expressed his disappointment with the bail reduction, stating that it eroded justice for the victim and other victims of violent crimes. He criticized the progressive policies that led to such a significant reduction and highlighted the impact on the cash bail system.
Authorities are urging anyone with information on Felimon Salas’ whereabouts to contact law enforcement immediately.