Mich. man convicted in 1991 slaying seeks commutation

Associated Press

Ionia, Mich. – A Michigan man who was convicted of murder nearly 30 years ago is seeking to have his life sentence commuted, citing that he was acting in self-defense.

The state Parole Board had a hearing Thursday to listen to Ron Redick’s request. The 81-year-old Spring Lake resident is serving a life sentence with no parole for the 1991 murder of his business partner, Ken Kunkel, 55.

Kunkel was leaving the partnership the day he was killed, court records said. Redick admitted that he bludgeoned Kunkel and then staged a car crash in an attempted cover-up.

Redick said he acted in self-defense and that Kunkel was the aggressor. He said he’s accepted responsibility for his actions and has worked hard to change his attitude while in prison.

“I lost it,” Redick said. “It’s my fault. It’s just, it was an out-of-body experience. I took his life and it was wrong.”

Redick said that if he’s released, he plans to live with his brother in Spring Lake. He said he would continue counseling and working on projects to help others.

Kunkel’s family was present for the hearing.

“This is a day I don’t want to relive,” said Richard Kunkel, the victim’s brother. “I don’t want to be here.”

Parole Board member Jerome Warfield said he’ll create a summary report for the full board to consider before the group makes a recommendation to outgoing Gov. Rick Snyder.

State Assistant Attorney General Scott Rothermel said his office opposes commutating Redick’s sentence.