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Kent County man serving juvenile life term re-sentenced

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– A Kent County man was the first of several people serving juvenile life terms to be re-sentenced in Kent County Circuit Court.

A recent Supreme Court ruling earlier this year said that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are considered cruel and unusual punishment.

David A. Samel, 52, was serving a life sentence for a murder he took part in with his twin brother back in 1981. He was 17 at the time.

David Samel’s brother, Michael, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was released from prison in 2009. David did not see the same fate and was convicted of first-degree murder and life in prison without parole for his role in Robert Sellon’s death.

Sellon’s half-sister has advocated on behalf of David Samel’s release.

Samel appeared in court Friday afternoon and was re-sentenced. He received a minimum 34.5 years in prison with a maximum of 60 years in prison.

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