SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The three men accused of murdering 11-year-old Brexialee Torres-Ortiz have the chance to get out of prison after 20 or 25 years if they accept an unexpected plea deal offered by the judge.
Speaking directly to 16-year-old Deckyse Bridges, 18-year-old Resean Patterson and 20-year-old Dahviere Griswold standing before him, Judge Theodore Limpert encouraged the group to consider the minimized sentence.
“I’m not putting any pressure on you to accept these offers,” said Judge Limpert. “But recognizing the strength of the people’s case, and what you’re facing if you’re found guilty after trial, I think you should seriously discuss the offer with your attorneys.”
The suspects have until the next hearing, scheduled for October 12, to let the judge know.
No one in the courtroom for the scheduled hearing Thursday, even the assistant district attorney, knew to expect the judge’s offer.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Robert Moran told NewsChannel 9’s Christie Casciano he was suprised.
Moran said, “Fifty (years is) a long time. There’s a lot of road to cover before we get that anyway. If they end up taking 25-to-life, that’s probably okay.”
It might not be okay with the Torres and Ortiz families, still healing from the loss of their daughter. Brexialee’s mom left the courtroom in tears.
Police blame the men for firing the shots that killed the 11-year-old while she was walking only a few feet between a corner store and her family’s home.
The three suspects are each charged with murder, attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon. The charges call for at least 50 years in prison without the plea offer.
Moran explained that if the suspects plead guilty to the entire indictment, it revokes the role of the District Attorney’s Office and the judge has authority to establish the sentence.
If the offer is rejected, the trial is scheduled for February of 2024.