Life term up for review in notorious Eastpointe kidnapping, torture slaying
Mount Clemens – The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to review the life sentence of a man who was a teenager when he kidnapped a customer from a sandwich shop in a notorious Detroit-area homicide.
Ihab Masalmani twice has been sentenced to the same life term for murder.
According to authorities, Masalmani and Robert Taylor — who also is serving a life term — 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 a burned-out Detroit house.
Masalmani went on a violent crime spree in Landry’s car before being caught by police three days later, according to authorities.
Masalmani was 17 at the time. Teens no longer can be given automatic no-parole sentences. Judges must consider many factors, including an offender’s background and potential for rehabilitation.
The judge who sentenced Masalmani in 2015 said he had a “terrible” childhood. But after a three-day hearing, she said he still deserved to be locked up for life.
The Supreme Court could set a key precedent for how judges handle other so-called juvenile lifer cases.
The Detroit News contributed.