ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After Tony Torrez pleaded guilty to the murder of 4-year-old Lilly Garcia, Lilly’s father spoke about his part in the road rage incident that ended with the girl’s death and Torrez gave a half-apology to the family.
It was an emotional day in court Thursday as both Lilly’s mom and dad addressed the judge. Both also had some hard words for Torrez.
The next 16 years for Tony Torrez were decided the moment he walked into court Thursday morning. There would be no trial, no jury — just Judge Charles Brown. Torrez accepted his fate when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for last year’s shooting.
The judge sentenced Torrez to 15 years for the murder of 4-year-old Lilly, plus another year for using a gun in the road rage incident.
The same incident Lilly’s dad, Alan Garcia, spoke about Thursday in tears, and for the first time acknowledged his involvement.
“If I would have known what I know now about that day, I wouldn’t have swerved,” said Garcia. “My daughter’s life was worth more.”
Torrez sat in court and cried as Lilly’s mom showed no remorse for the man now admitting guilt in her daughter’s murder.
“I hope that he has to look over his shoulder every minute of every day, and I hope he doesn’t feel comfortable in his own skin,” said Veronica Rael-Garcia, Lilly’s mother.
But before the judge handed down the sentence, Torrez asked to address the Garcia family.
“I pray for your family nightly to ease your pain and I ask for forgiveness every day,” said Torrez. “I’m sorry.”
Torrez then went on to say the shooting was in self-defense because Lilly’s father was the aggressor that day.
In a news release, the District Attorney’s office says the plea deal for second degree ensured a conviction while saving the taxpayers money.
They did not say if the family was in favor of the plea deal and the family wouldn’t say either.
Torrez could end up serving less than 13 years with good time, plus two years mandatory parole.