GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A man convicted of murder when he was 17 years old got re-sentenced to life without parole Thursday in a Kent County courtroom. It comes after a 2016 Supreme Court ruling that states anyone given a life sentence without parole before their 18th birthday should be given a new hearing.
That included Marc Anthony Osborne, who was found guilty of murdering 18-year-old Jessica Ledford in 1999.
“Sir I do not believe that you should be re-sentenced. I believe you have to deal with the consequences of your actions. Under the law as I see it I am not going to be re-sentencing you,” Kent Count judge Mark Trusock told Osborne Thursday.
Jessica's step mom gave emotional testimony in court as she re-lived the painful tragedy of what happened almost 20 years ago.
"I was the one who had to call her sister and tell her over the phone that her baby sister and best friend had been murdered,” said Vicki Ledford.
This is the third of twelve cases in Kent County where juveniles sentenced to life without parole can get the chance for re-sentencing. Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker says this is a necessary process and that it's hard for families to relive the pain of the past.
"That’s the biggest problem with the victims is even the ones that are done, you bring everything back up. You have a sense of finality when you get done with the trial and then you have a sentencing and that’s done and they think it’s over," said Becker.
And this may not be the end because the Supreme Court ruling opens up the door for allowing new appeals.
"This is going to be appealed again. That’s what I’m telling the victims, it could be appealed some more even to the Michigan Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court depending on the decision,” says Becker.
Becker says they will probably have seven of these cases done by the end of the year and will finish up with the rest by early 2019.