Man Identified By DNA Gets 8-15 Years In Slayings Of Brothers 39 Years Ago
DETROIT (AP/WWJ) – A 57-year-old man has been sentenced to 8-15 years in prison in the fatal 1975 beatings and stabbings of two Detroit-area brothers.
David Fowler learned his punishment Friday in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Fowler was extradited from Georgia in February 2012 after DNA tests linked him to the slayings of 34-year-old Michael Belt and 18-year-old Jeffrey Belt.
The men were beaten with a wooden board and stabbed during a robbery at a house in the 37000 block of Plymouth Road in Livonia in the spring of 1975.
Fowler fled the state following the killings, according to police. An open murder warrant and a federal warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution was issued at that time. Two other defendants were charged, tried, convicted and served time in prison for their role in the crimes.
Fowler earlier pleaded no contest to manslaughter. A first-degree murder charge was dismissed. A no contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.
Family of the slain brothers asked for the most prison time possible.
Fowler had been in prison under the alias “Richard David Taylor” and has previous convictions for shoplifting, receiving stolen property and escape.
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