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Man Confesses He Killed Grand Rapids Neighbor In 1989

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – A Grand Rapids man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder after telling police that he killed an elderly neighbor in 1989.

Michael Newkirk is in prison for another crime. Det. Sgt. Sally Wolter of the state police says he confessed because it was “weighing heavy on his chest.”

Helen Tracy was 88 years old when she was killed in her home in 1989. The 60-year-old Newkirk appeared in a Kent County court on Wednesday. He faces at least 25 years in prison when he returns on March 20.

A Kent County cold case team reopened the case in 2009. Investigators talked to Newkirk again last year when he was convicted of a different crime.

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