VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A Virginia Beach man pleaded guilty Monday to involuntary manslaughter and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon in connection to the March 2015 death of 18-year-old Dakota "Coty" Lane.
"Seeing him accept responsibility for what happened is confirmation for me that it's taken place," Coty's dad Chris Lane told NewsChannel 3.
Glen Raymond Phillips shot and killed Lane in March 2015 at Phillips' home on Charity Neck Road.
In a previous court appearance, Phillips admitted to a judge the gun "accidentally discharged." The Commonwealth Attorney says before the gun went off, Phillips had been drinking and smoking marijuana with Lane and another teenager.
Chris Lane told NewsChannel 3, he kept all of Coty's text messages and voicemails," he said.
"I get so much joy just going through our text messages and listening to voicemails. I didn't delete any of them, and I thank God I didn't. He's alive each and every day as long as I am," he said.
Lane's father told NewsChannel 3 previously that his son worked for Phillips' landscaping company. From there, he says Phillips began "negatively influencing his son."
Despite the way his son died, Lane says he forgives Phillips.
"I told Coty how to live, and what God said and what felt good. If I didn't walk the talk in his absence, he's going to be looking down from heaven, shaking his head saying 'no, Dad, you taught me better than that.'" Lane said.