2 who were teens in ’96 slaying will get chance at parole

Christopher Peltier (left), Saulo Montalvo (right), courtesy MDOC.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – Two men who were teenagers when they participated in the robbery and fatal shooting of a Grand Rapids store owner will get a chance at freedom.

At the prosecutor’s request, a judge on Friday reduced the no-parole sentences of Saulo Montalvo, who was the getaway driver, and Christopher Peltier, who grabbed the cash register at the Beer Kooler back in 1996.

The extraordinary breaks are a result of U.S. Supreme Court decisions that declared teens must be treated differently than adults in murder cases. No-parole sentences are no longer automatic.

Montalvo now will be eligible for parole in five years. Peltier will need another 15 years. Prosecutor Bill Forsyth says he opposes a shorter sentence for the man who fatally shot Rodney Corp at the party store.

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