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

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

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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