Juvenile lifer waives resentencing in '84 triple slaying
Pontiac — A 52-year-old man imprisoned as a juvenile for a 1984 triple murder waived his right to a resentencing Friday in Oakland County Circuit Court.
Michael Kvam was two months shy of his 18th birthday on July 7, 1984, when he raped and repeatedly stabbed Joann Bray, 27; Wendy Lovell, 15; and Chastity Bray, 9, in their home in then-Avon Township, now Rochester Hills.
Two younger children, aged 4 and 1, were left in the home with the bodies of their family members.
“Dying here is what I deserve,” Kvam told Judge Nanci Grant on Friday during a video conference recorded from prison. “…There are no mitigating circumstances at all.”
The victims' relatives showed up in Grant's courtroom Friday to request that Kvam never be released from prison.
The hearing was required due to a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found persons under the age of 18 years old who were sentenced to life without parole should be resentenced.
The Supreme Court found such sentences for juveniles, whose minds were not fully developed, constituted cruel and unusual punishment. The justices explained mandatory life without parole should be reserved for juvenile offenders whose crimes reflect “irreparable corruption.”
The Kvam case was so gruesome that at Kvam’s original sentencing, then-Judge George LaPlata, an admitted lifelong opponent of the death penalty, said it made him rethink his belief such a sentence was too harsh. LaPlata said at sentencing he hoped Kvam would never be released from prison.
Following the Supreme Court ruling, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard held a press conference opposing resentencing of violent juvenile offenders and grouped Kvam with others he likened to the fictitious serial killer Hannibal Lecter.
In a 2016 filing, Oakland County assistant prosecutor John Skrzynski said Kvam’s lack of remorse for his crimes was “demonstrated by the fact that after Defendant assaulted and murdered the three victims, he and the co-defendant cleaned up a bit around the house, stopped off for a bite to eat, and then went to work.”
Kvam’s co-defendant, William Fischer, is also serving a life sentence for the slayings. Fischer, now 75, was an adult at the time of the incident and is not entitled to similar reconsideration of his sentence.
Skrzynski said nearly three years ago, Kvam had committed 55 major misconducts behind bars, including assaults on prison staff (including a stabbing) and inmates that often resulted in him being placed in administrative segregation.
A forensic evaluation found Kvam to have an “anti-social behavior disorder” with the Michigan Department of Corrections categorizing him as having a very high risk of violence and a high risk to property — the highest ratings available.
More than 350 juvenile lifers are in Michigan prisons, including 44 sentenced out of Oakland County who could potentially have their sentences reduced and be given parole consideration every five years.