PONTIAC (WWJ/AP) – One teenager will spend the rest of his life in prison while his co-defendant sits behind bars for the next four decades, in the slaying of a 27-year-old Pontiac man during a home invasion.
On Wednesday, Oakland County Circuit Judge Rudy Nichols sentenced 19-year-old Jonathan Hickerson to life and 18-year-old Donald James to 42-62 years for murder and firearms charges. Both received credit for 629 days already served.
The two were 16 and 17 in 2012 when they committed the felony murder, which typically carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. The U.S. Supreme Court bars Michigan from automatically imposing a mandatory life, no parole sentence against juvenile convicts.
Authorities said the teens invaded Adrian Contreras’ Pontiac home, believing there were large amounts of drugs and money, and fatally shot him. Contreras’ wife and 6-month-old child also were inside the home but escaped unhurt.
Contreras’s brother Brian shot back, hitting Hickerson in the face.
Before the sentencing, Hickerson apologized to his and the victim’s families, saying he doesn’t deserve to ever go free.
“I don’t want to sit here and tell you to make pity on me because, just like (the Contreras family) said, I don’t deserve to see the light of day again,” Hickerson said, according to the Daily Tribune. ” I deserve to be tortured for the rest of my life. I just ask the court and the family, please forgive me for what I did.”
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