Court affirms life sentences in abduction, murder
Two juvenile lifers were resentenced as adults to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the heinous murder of a man in 2009.
The Michigan Court of Appeals confirmed the sentences for Ihab Masalmani and Robert Taylor, who were both 17 when they committed the murder.
The pair “had their sentences vacated pursuant to the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Miller v. Alabama (2013) which held, in part, that life sentences imposed on juvenile offenders can only be reaffirmed upon demonstration of a series of aggravating factors which indelibly support such a sentence,” according to a statement from Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith’s office.
Macomb County Circuit Judge Diane Druzinski held the resentencing hearing in October 2014 and found that Masalmani and Taylor met the requirements for life-without-parole.
The two defendants appealed the judge’s decision, however the Court of Appeals affirmed the life sentences this week.
Smith’s statement said Masalmani and Taylor carjacked 21-year-old Matthew Landry outside a Quizno’s restaurant in Eastpointe in broad daylight.
They then led Landry to a Detroit drug house, purchased crack and cocaine with Landry’s money, tortured him and murdered him.
Landry’s body was later found in Detroit.
Masalmani went on a violent crime spree in Landry’s car before being caught by police three days later, Smith’s office said.
“We’re not talking about confused kids making mischief while playing hooky,” Smith said in a statement. “Masalmani and Taylor were hardened, remorseless criminals who committed violent, nearly unspeakable crimes just for the thrill of doing it.”
“We applaud Judge Druzinski and the Court of Appeals for recognizing the depravity of these crimes and fashioning the appropriate sentence for these convicted murderers.”