Adam Torres, the former Fairfax County police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man at his home in 2013 was sentenced Friday to a year in jail for involuntary manslaughter.
Since Torres has already served more than 10 months in jail, he will be released next week, Fairfax County sheriff’s officials said.
In April, Torres, 33, pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter just as his second-degree murder trial was about to begin.
The victim, John Geer, then 46, was in a domestic dispute with his girlfriend at his Springfield home in August of 2013. Police spoke with him for about 45 minutes in the doorway and seemingly had the situation under control when Torres fired a shot at Geer from about 17 feet away.
Torres told investigators he thought Geer was reaching for a gun. When police later went into the home, they found the gun on the floor several feet away.
Fairfax County Police did not release many details — including the name of the shooting officer — on the incident for more than a year. After a civil suit was filed by Geer’s family, the department was forced to release information about it in January 2015. The case prompted the county to form a special commission to review the police policies and practices.
“The death of John Geer was a tragic event and a painful chapter in Fairfax County history,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova. “With today’s sentencing, the justice system has done its part. Although Adam Torres’ act cannot be undone, there are many things Fairfax County can do to ensure future tragedies such as this never happen again. … We are committed to promoting community trust and making our Police Department a national model moving forward.”
Geer’s mother, Anne, spoke at the hearing Friday and to reporters afterwards. She said “this is not justice for John.”
“It is insulting to suggest that the crime of murder is only worth one year in a protected jail cell,” she said. “John will spend forever in his grave. ”
Fairfax County previously settled the civil case with Geer’s two teenage daughters for $2.95 million, which is reportedly a record settlement in Virginia.
“My thoughts and prayers remain with the Geer family, the friends and loved ones of Mr. John Geer, the community we proudly serve and the men and women of the Fairfax County Police Department,” Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler said in a statement.
“We support the judicial process and the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. The action of one former employee is not reflective of the honorable work performed by the members of our Department, sworn, civilian and volunteer.”
Photo: Adam Torres/FCPD