MOUNT CLEMENS (WWJ/AP) – A young man convicted of helping his half-sister kill a 57-year-old Sterling Heights man she met on Craigslist has been sentenced to life in prison.
The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens reports 20-year-old Demonte Easterling of Harper Woods received the sentence Wednesday for his conviction on murder, robbery and other charges.
Bria Corrine-Janelle Blackmon, 20, of Madison Heights, earlier this month was given a no-parole sentence in the case. In February, she and Easterling were convicted of murder in the death of Michael Freeland of Sterling Heights in March, 2015.
Freeland met Blackmon after placing an ad on Craigslist seeking a woman to have a baby, according to police.
Freeland, who was beaten with a 15-pound weight, was found dead in his home in the 37000-block of Andrew Dr, near 16 Mile Road and Van Dyke in Sterling Heights.
A fire was set at his residence, police said, but an autopsy showed Freeland died before the fire started. His credit cards and other personal items were later found in Blackmon’s home.
According to prosecutors, Blackmon and Freeland began dating following their initial meeting, but she eventually tried to rob him, and that’s what led to the murder. The fire, it was argued, had been set in an effort to cover it up.
Defense attorney Rebekah Coleman said Blackmon got into a fight with Freeland after he pressured her for sex.
The jury did not buy that version of events.
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