- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - A young Flint man convicted in the fatal shooting of a pizza delivery driver could eventually get the chance to leave prison after he was re-sentenced following changes in Michigan law that came in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Archie Hayman sentenced 20-year-old Juwan Wickware to 30-60 years in prison on Monday. Wickware’s attorney, Jodi Hemingway, told The Flint Journal (https://bit.ly/1pDAvxT ) she feels like “a wrong has been righted.”

Wickware received life in prison without parole in August 2013. The sentencing phase of his first-degree murder case was unusual because he was 16 when Michael Nettles, 33, was killed in 2012. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 said teens can’t automatically get mandatory no-parole sentences.

Before the 2013 sentence, Hayman held two days of hearings about Wickware’s mental status, criminal history and childhood. At the time, Hayman still came to the conclusion a no-parole sentence was appropriate.

In Michigan, the mandatory sentence for first-degree murder is life in prison without parole. In March, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a law changing sentencing rules for juvenile defendants convicted of murder and other serious crimes to bring Michigan into compliance with the Supreme Court ruling.

The change in Michigan law affected Wickware’s case. Prosecutors can still seek life sentences without parole, but they can’t be mandatory on judges. Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton’s office agreed to the re-sentencing hearing, but wanted the sentence unchanged.

“Our position was he should be sentenced to life without parole,” Leyton said.

Witnesses testified during trial that a teen who was charged but eventually acquitted fired a .40-caliber pistol and Wickware fired a .22-caliber rifle at Nettles. A .40-caliber bullet was found in Nettles and .22-caliber bullet casings were found at the scene.

Testimony showed that Nettles was shot eight times. Leyton said Wickware shouldn’t get a pass just because his shots missed.

“I think it was an egregious crime,” Leyton said.

___

Information from: The Flint Journal, https://www.mlive.com/flint

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide