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A teenager convicted on 18 charges, including the murder of a Chesterfield Township man, related to a Macomb County crime spree has been sentenced to life in prison.
Ihab Masalmani was convicted October first of kidnapping and killing 21-year old Matthew Landry. Other charges included bank robbery and carjacking.
“I’m not going to use my past as an excuse for my behavior,” Maslamani said, responding to assertions of neglect, abuse and little stability throughout his childhood.
“Murder is not something I committed. I’m hurt, too. There’s false allegations on me.”
Landry was kidnapped at random in August 2009 in an Eastpointe sub shop parking lot and held before being shot in the head. His body was later found inside a burned out vacant house in Detroit.
A Macomb County jury convicted Maslamani in the killing.
Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Diane Druzinski told Maslamani that a tough upbringing could not explain his actions, and his crime spree that started with the bank holdup and ended with Landry being found shot to death in a vacant and burned-out house in Detroit held a community “on edge.”
“Any of our sons or daughters could have been victims of your actions,” Druzinski told Maslamani.
Landry’s mother Doreen spoke to the court before the sentence was handed down.
“Only a parent who has lost a child can understand this emotional and physical pain. We know now the pain’s not going to go away. We’re just going to learn to live with it. I believe the only reason we’ve survived this far is because of the love and support of the family and our friends and each other,” she said.
Mrs. Landry told Maslamani that he disrespected the court system, and prayed he would never have the opportunity to devastate another family again.
Defense attorney Joseph Kosmala later told reporters Maslamani requested that paperwork be started for an appeal. Kosmala has said no evidence ties Maslamani to the killing.
The attorney also said his client was shaped by hardships as a youth. “His past led almost inevitably to this conclusion,” Kosmala said. “There was no other way it was going to end.”
When sentencing concluded, Maslamani – wearing a navy jail uniform, handcuffs, waist chain and leg irons – was led away by deputies.
Roseville police Lt. Raymond Blarek, who found Landry’s body, was also in court for the sentencing.
“This is very important to me…we put a lot of time into this case,” Blarek said. “The jury saw the case as it was and I firmly believe knowing things that were not allowed to be brought out that they made the right decisions,” told WWJ’s Roberta Jasina, earlier Thursday.
Blarek went on to say the case “will always be part of my life for every minute I have left on this earth” and he will support the Landry family in any way possible.
Also charged in the case, 17-year-old Robert Taylor will go on trial December 1.
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