Home / United States / Michigan 74-year-old man sentenced for murder and jailed at 17 will be released, report says

Michigan 74-year-old man sentenced for murder and jailed at 17 will be released, report says



A Michigan man jailed since 1962 for being fatally stabbed will be released, a judge said Tuesday.

Sheldry Topp, 74, is the oldest prisoner in Michigan. He was sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of stabbing a man fatally during a robbery at the age of 17.

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On Tuesday, Topp was sentenced to a minimum of 40 years. The new sentence, according to lawyer Deborah LaBelle, means that Topp should immediately be eligible for freedom.

Life sentences without the possibility of parole are no longer automatic for persons under 18 years of age. Lifers have the right to new hearings following a US Supreme Court ruling. Judges now have discretion and can take into account the offender's childhood, education, and various other factors.

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The sentences without parole, which are still possible, are what prosecutor Jessica Cooper asked Topp. But Justice James Alexander of Oakland County said Topp had been rehabilitated.

Associated Press contributed to this report.


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