VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A man convicted of charges including robbery for an incident that resulted in the death of a Grassfield High School student could serve nearly five decades in prison.
The last year has been a nightmare for Bryant Cueto’s family. The 18-year-old was shot and killed selling Xanax in Virginia Beach.
“There is not a day that I don’t think of him,” said Cueto’s mom, Ginger Cueto. “I just know that now every birthday and everything is now at the Chesapeake Memorial Gardens. That’s where I get to go and visit my son now is at a grave site.”
One of the men accused in Bryant Cueto’s death was found not guilty of murder by a jury. The jury did find Andarion McInnis guilty of robbery, firearms charges and conspiracy to commit robbery.
Prosecutors say McInnis and Jacquan Wilson were there to buy the pills from Cueto, but instead stole them.
On Thursday, in the sentencing phase of McInnis’ trial, a detective told the jury that just 12 hours after Cueto’s murder, McInnis was selling the pills on his Facebook page.
“…My son is innocent and my heart goes out to family of the victim,” McInnis’ father Antonio McInnis said.
McInnis took the stand and asked jurors not to throw him away like a piece of trash. He said he was the product of the an environment he grew up in, where people sold drugs and committed crimes. McInnis did tell prosecutors he was a drug dealer and would sell anything he could get his hands on.
“You all have ran so many drug cases where dealers have been shot, killed or robbed,” Antonio McInnis said. “Basically, that is the lifestyle of most drug dealers.”
After about 40 minutes of deliberating, the jury came back with a recommended sentence: 48 years. McInnis slammed his hands on the table and was quickly ushered out of the court by deputies.
“Yeah, we were hoping for less time,” Antonio McInnis added.
“Nothing brings my son back, so really even if they gave him life, it won’t have mattered, because I still won’t get my son’s life back,” Ginger Cueto said. “I still don’t really get any closure. I still never get to hear his voice again. I still never get to hear his laugh, but at least now I can put this part behind me and begin to heal a little bit.”
McInnis won’t formally be sentenced until early November. His co-defendant goes on trial for the same charges in October.
McInnis has prior convictions for refusal to provide ID to police and disorderly conduct. He is awaiting trial on a charge of possession of unauthorized weapon capable of death/injury, which he received while in custody at the jail awaiting this trial.