Teen charged in ’16 slaying to avoid no-parole sentence
Grand Rapids — A plea agreement is expected to allow a teenager to avoid a no-parole sentence in the strangulation death of his 18-year-old half-sister in western Michigan.
Seventeen-year-old Savon Schmus pleaded guilty Monday to a murder charge and prosecutors will recommend a minimum sentence of 30-40 years. He’d earlier been charged as an adult with open murder and faced life in prison without parole. Sentencing is Oct. 30.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker says the decision was based on U.S. Supreme Court decisions about mandatory no-parole sentences for juveniles.
A person walking a dog found McKenna Hilton’s body Aug. 18, 2016, in a wooded area near Emerald Lake in Grand Rapids Township.
Schmus and Hilton shared the same father. Police believe Hilton was strangled by the then-16-year-old Schmus in their father’s apartment.
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