Suspect pleads guilty in Va. Beach teen’s shooting death

Ethan Torres in court on Dec. 4, 2017. (Photo: WAVY/Walter Hildebrand).

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A suspect in the shooting death of a Virginia Beach teenager pleaded guilty Monday morning in court.

Ethan Torres was faced with charges including second-degree murder in the shooting death of 18-year-old Sidea Griffin.

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Torres, who was 17 at the time, was certified to be tried as an adult this past spring.

“At such a young age he recognizes what he has done and wants to do all he can to make amends,” said Torres’ attorney James Broccoletti.

Torres most likely will have many years to think about what he did last January.  He is facing more than five decades in prison for shooting and killed a Kempsville High School senior.

“Ethan recognizes the harm that he has caused and he is extremely remorseful,” Broccoletti said.

January 14, Sidea Griffin was with her boyfriend.  He and Torres were meeting up on Ruddy Oak Court for a drug deal.

Prosecutors say Griffin’s boyfriend was selling some weed to Torres. When they got there the deal went bad.

Griffin’s boyfriend was driving away when Torres fired a shot into the back window.  Griffin, who was in the passenger’s seat, was hit in the shoulder.  She was pronounced dead at Sentara Princess Anne.

Read the stipulation of commonwealth’s evidence against Torres

Broccoletti says his client never meant to harm Griffin.

“I think that is accurate, but unfortunately under the law that’s still part of the attempted robbery which still makes him responsible for the homicide,” Broccoletti added.

Torres pleaded guilty to the crime.  As part of his plea, prosecutors won’t bring up any future charges.

“It is a very tragic circumstance for both families,” Broccoletti said.

Griffin was just months away from graduating from Kempsville High School.  Torres’ attorney says his client didn’t want to put her family through any more pain.

“It has cost a young girl her life and the family all that harm obviously,” Broccoletti added.  “In terms of him, it is going to cost him the rest of his life, something he will live with.”

Torres is facing more than 50 years in prison.  He will be sentenced March 19.