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Murderer’s Motion Denied

On July 11, Sanilac County Circuit Judge Timothy Wrathell denied Trinidad Paredes Jr.’s motion for resentencing.
Paredes had pled guilty to second-degree murder for stabbing to death, Jennifer Gonzalez, on August 15, 2010, in the City of Croswell. Paredes was 15-years-old at the time. Ms. Gonzalez was a 24-year-old mother of two young children. She had been stabbed over 30 times. On May 16, 2011, Judge Donald Teeple sentenced Paredes to a minimum of 31 years, 3 months, up to a maximum of 50 years in prison.
Subsequent US Supreme Court and Michigan Supreme Court cases and statutes have altered how juveniles are to be sentenced for first-degree murder if receiving a sentence of life without parole or for second-degree murder if receiving a life sentence with the possibility of parole. The Courts have found that certain life sentences are unconstitutional unless specific procedures are followed that take into account such factors as a juvenile offender’s youth and immaturity. Paredes filed a motion for resentencing, arguing that these cases and statutes should also apply to him.
Prosecutor Brenda Sanford filed a written response to his motion, arguing that the specific procedures requested by Paredes and the cases cited by him did not apply to him because he had been sentenced to a term of years – not a life sentence. Prosecutor Sanford cited other cases that supported her position. She further argued that even if the procedures did apply, Judge Teeple had taken the appropriate factors of youth into account in sentencing the juvenile. She asked Judge Wrathall to find that the sentence that was imposed was proper.
Judge Wrathall issued a lengthy written opinion in which he ruled against Paredes and determined the sentence imposed was unconstitutional. He held that the specific procedures requested by Paredes did not apply, but even if they had, that Judge Teeple had applied and considered the appropriate factors in sentencing defendent for this crime. Therefore, the motion for a new sentencing was denied.

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