VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A jury recommended 48 years in prison for 20-year-old Adarion McInnis, who was found guilty of two robbery charges and two weapons charges. A jury found him not guilty of first-degree murder Wednesday in connection with the shooting that killed 18-year-old Bryant Austin Cueto.
McInnis slammed his hands on the table upon hearing his sentence and his Mom reacted with tears. At one point, both of them had to be removed from the courtroom. But when they returned, McInnis said to his Mom, "It's okay, Mom" and "take care of yourself."
Ginger Cueto, the victim's Mom told News 3 after the sentence, she's pleased with the verdict.
"Nothing brings my son back, so really even if they gave him life, it wouldn't have mattered because I don't get my son's life back. but I am happy with the outcome," said Ginger Cueto.
Prosecutors presented evidence from a Virginia Beach detective showing McInnis posted a facebook status saying, "Got white Xanax bars on deck" the morning after Cueto was killed.
Bryant Cueto, the victim's Dad took the stand to describe to the jury who his son Austin was. He said Austin was excited about getting hired at Home Depot and he tried his best to keep his son straight. However, Austin lived two different lives and it was a constant battle. Cueto said his son felt pressure from his peers to "out bad" one another. Despite that, Cueto said his son was respectful to adults and loved soccer. Cueto got emotional when he talked about his son dying in the hospital alone because the family wasn't notified until 9 or 10 that night when the shooting happened hours before.
Ginger Cueto, the victim's Mom also took the stand. She read a prepared statement through tears saying the court proceedings take her back to the day it all happened all over again. She said she lives with intense fear, has been diagnosed with PTSD, stress-induced seizures and has lost faith in people. She read instead of planning for prom and graduation, they were planning for a funeral.
The defendant's aunt and Mom spoke to the jury from the stand, too. They said McInnis is a smart and kind person and the crime he was involved in is out of character. Jannis McInnis, the defendant's Mom said her son got caught up with the wrong people.
Andarion McInnis took the stand to tell the jury he has a changed view of life and seeing what the victim's family is going through hurts his heart. He said he accepts his consequences, but doesn't want to be thrown away like trash and asks the jury to give him a chance.
After deliberating for almost 30 minutes, the jury recommended McInnis is sentenced to 40 years in prison for the two robbery charges and eight years for the weapons charges.
"It's hard, but in all reality, in all respect, we all lose people whether it's through death prison, illness or sickness and you make adjustments in life," said Antonio McInnis after the verdict.
Ginger Cueto said with the court proceedings over, she hopes she can start to heal.
"I was young when I had him. he was my best friend. He was my first love. He was my everything. I never expected to live my life without him," said Ginger Cueto.
Official sentencing is set for November. Jack Wilson, the co-defendant in this case, who prosecutors say is the one who shot and killed Cueto is set to appear in court in October.