He killed a Kempsville High School senior. Now he’s headed to prison for 33 years

This photo from May 2017 shows Ethan Torres, 17 at the time, in court for the shooting death of Kempsville High School senior Sidea Griffin (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of News Channel 3)
This photo from May 2017 shows Ethan Torres, 17 at the time, in court for the shooting death of Kempsville High School senior Sidea Griffin (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of News Channel 3)

VIRGINIA BEACH — A local man was sentenced Wednesday for the 2017 killing of a Kempsville High School senior.

Ethan Torres, 18, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, attempted robbery and use of a firearm stemming from botched drug deal that resulted in the shooting death of Sidea Griffin on Jan. 14, 2017, according to the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

Circuit Court Judge Steven C. Frucci sentenced Torres to 43 years in prison, with 10 years suspended.

Related story: At vigil, friends remember slain Kempsville High School senior’s ‘beautiful soul’

Griffin’s boyfriend at the time of her murder, Freddy Pilataxi, testified in May 2017 that he had known Torres for several years, communicating mostly through social media.

The night Griffin was killed, Pilataxi and Torres used Instagram to set up a drug deal, according to Pilataxi’s testimony.

Pilataxi testified he had sold marijuana to other people, but that night was the first time he tried to sell it to Torres. He also testified he picked up Griffin from her grandmother’s home around 6:30 p.m. and was aware that they were going to meet up with Torres for the drug deal beforehand.

Related story: ‘I saw a hole in her back’: Boyfriend of slain Kempsville senior testifies against accused shooter

Police said Torres showed up to meet Pilataxi, hoping to buy marijuana, but he arrived without money.

When Pilataxi became angry, Torres pulled out a gun and tried to rob the couple, according to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

As Griffin and her boyfriend were driving away, police said Torres fired one shot into the car, which struck Griffin in the chest. She later died at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office called Griffin’s murder “senseless,” and that Torres’s sentence was on the “high end” of the state’s sentencing guidelines.

Although he was a juvenile at the time of the murder, Torres’s case was certified to the Circuit Court for trial as an adult “due to the seriousness of the crime.”

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