New Mexico

Attorneys in deadly road-rage shooting reach plea deal

  • FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2015 file photo, Tony Torrez looks back as he is escorted out of Judge Stan Whitaker's courtroom after being denied bail during a hearing in Albuquerque, N.M. Torrez, the man charged in a road rage shooting that killed a 4-year-old Albuquerque girl and sent shockwaves through the state last year, has agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder under an agreement with prosecutors that calls for him to serve a 16-year sentence, his attorneys said Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016.   (Jim Thompson/The Albuquerque Journal via AP, File)

    FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2015 file photo, Tony Torrez looks back as he is escorted out of Judge Stan Whitaker's courtroom after being denied bail during a hearing in Albuquerque, N.M. Torrez, the man charged in a road rage shooting that killed a 4-year-old Albuquerque girl and sent shockwaves through the state last year, has agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder under an agreement with prosecutors that calls for him to serve a 16-year sentence, his attorneys said Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. (Jim Thompson/The Albuquerque Journal via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Veronica Garcia, left, is surrounded by family members during a sentencing hearing in Albuquerque, N.M., on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. Defendant Tony Torrez entered an Alford plea to a charge of second-degree murder in a road-rage case that left Garcia's 4-year-old daughter dead. Torrez was sentenced to 16 years in prison. (Dominic Crespin/KRQE News 13 via AP)

    Veronica Garcia, left, is surrounded by family members during a sentencing hearing in Albuquerque, N.M., on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. Defendant Tony Torrez entered an Alford plea to a charge of second-degree murder in a road-rage case that left Garcia's 4-year-old daughter dead. Torrez was sentenced to 16 years in prison. (Dominic Crespin/KRQE News 13 via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • State District Judge Charles Brown sentences defendant Tony Torrez to 16 years in prison during a hearing in Albuquerque, N.M., on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. Torrez entered an Alford plea to a charge of second-degree murder in a road-rage case that left a 4-year-old girl dead. (Dominic Crespin/KRQE News 13 via AP )

    State District Judge Charles Brown sentences defendant Tony Torrez to 16 years in prison during a hearing in Albuquerque, N.M., on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. Torrez entered an Alford plea to a charge of second-degree murder in a road-rage case that left a 4-year-old girl dead. (Dominic Crespin/KRQE News 13 via AP )  (The Associated Press)

The suspect accused of fatally shooting a 4-year-old Albuquerque girl during a road rage dispute with the child's father is scheduled to appear in court Thursday, with his attorneys saying he'll enter a plea to a count of second-degree murder.

Tony Torrez's attorneys say they reached a deal with prosecutors that calls for him to enter an Alford plea and accept a 16-year prison term in the death of Lilly Garcia, who was riding in her father's pickup truck when she was shot. An Alford plea means Torrez does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence to convict him.

Torrez had been charged with first-degree murder, which carries a life sentence. A jury trial in the high-profile case was scheduled to begin Thursday before attorneys announced they had met a Wednesday deadline for a plea agreement.