Nathaniel Abraham sent back to prison for dealing drugs

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News
Nathaniel Abraham is headed back to prison after being sentenced Tuesday on drug charges in Oakland County Circuit Court.

Pontiac — Nathaniel Abraham, who made national news when convicted of murder at the age of 11, is headed back to prison.

Abraham, now 33, of Pontiac was sentenced Tuesday in Oakland County Circuit Court to 6 to 40 years in prison for selling drugs to an undercover police officer in Farmington Hills. He pleaded guilty as charged May 28 to delivery of methamphetamine and heroin, felonies that carry up to 20 years in prison.

Abraham was also charged as a habitual offender, fourth offense, which can carry up to life in prison.

“Mom, this isn’t bad — he could have received a much higher sentence,” said defense attorney James Galen, trying to comfort Abraham’s mother, Gloria Abraham, outside the courtroom with a dozen other relatives and friends.

“If he does what he is supposed to do, he will be out before too long.”

Galen referred to the sentence, issued by Judge Rae Lee Chabot, as “extraordinarily kind.”

“Under the habitual offender offense, he could have had up to life,” the attorney said. “I think Judge Chabot recognizes he can better himself.”

Read more: A murderer at 11, Abraham's legal woes mount again

Assistant Oakland County prosecuting attorney Beth Hand had unsuccessfully argued for a sentence “more in the middle of guidelines, like 15 years” because of Abraham's frequent problems with the law.

“I want to apologize to the court for my actions and I take full responsibility for them,” Abraham said before being sentenced.

“And I want to apologize to my family. I’ve disappointed them,” he said, turning to relatives seated in the courtroom. “I’ve also learned being incarcerated doesn’t just affect the person being incarcerated …”

 Chabot thanked Abraham for his comments and after sentencing said: “I sincerely wish you the best.”

It was the latest chapter in the sad saga of Abraham, who was convicted of second-degree murder in the October 1997 slaying of Ronnie Green, randomly shot outside a Pontiac party store with a .22 caliber rifle.

Abraham was arrested the next day, still in costume after attending a school Halloween party.

He spent nearly a decade in juvenile detention and in May 2008, just 18 months after release, was arrested in Pontiac with 254 Ecstasy pills in a liquor bottle bag. He was sentenced to four to 20 years in prison and paroled in June 2017.

He was discharged from parole in July 2018 and on Aug. 6 was arrested after he allegedly exposed himself in front of a 46-year-old neighbor who had declined his offer to cut her lawn.

Two days later, he struck deputies who tried to take him into custody for skipping a court appearance. He was charged with resisting and obstructing police, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.

He must return to court for sentencing July 17 on those offenses but under an agreement he will not receive more than 1 to 15 years in prison, with that time to run concurrently with his drug sentence.

Gloria Abraham said she and the other relatives are in "full support "of her son. Several children attended Tuesday's sentencing, including Abraham’s 8-month old son.

“I believe in my son and of course, society doesn’t know his life,” Gloria Abraham said. She did not elaborate. “He will do OK. He’s a strong young man.”

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