Teen accused in fatal stabbing of Marine pleads not guilty

Defense attorney questions charges of second-degree murder in case.

Teen accused in fatal stabbing of Marine pleads not guilty
17-year-old Nicholas Torres appears in court Thursday to plead not guilty to murder charges.

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The teenager accused of fatally stabbing a Marine in Waikiki last year pleaded not guilty to murder charges on Thursday.

Nicholas Earl Torres, 17, made an appearance in court Thursday morning, his first since a judge ruled last week that he would be tried as an adult in the case. He remains in police custody at the state’s juvenile detention center, will bail set at $500,000.

Torres was 16 years old on October 21, 2017, the day he allegedly stabbed 23-year-old Sgt. William Brown during what police described as a large affray in Waikiki. Court documents released last week included police reports that said that Torres was with a group of at least nine other juveniles and was one of three who were fighting with Brown.

Several of the teens identified Torres as the one who stabbed Brown with a large knife. Witnesses said another boy was carrying the knife, and that Torres yelled at him to stab Brown. When the boy hesitated, Torres allegedly grabbed the knife and stabbed Brown once in the chest under his arm.

Torres' attorney questions whether murder is the proper charge for his client, since witnesses at the scene also reported seeing another knife.

“There’s nothing good about what happened here. There’s tragedies on both sides,” said Michael Green. “A family lost their son, and I have a mother that’s concerned about losing her son.”

Juveniles charged as adults in Hawaii face the same penalties as adults. If convicted of second-degree murder, he could be sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.

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