No reduced sentence for man who murdered pregnant woman in 1993

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A convicted killer who was hoping to avoid spending the rest of his life behind bars went before a Grand Rapids judge for re-sentencing Wednesday.

It was in 1993 that Stephen Launsburry shot and killed Kristy Couch, a young woman who was pregnant at the time. It's been 25 years since her death and during Wednesday's hearing,  Judge Dennis Lieber ruled that Launsburry will continue serving life without parole.

The parents of Kirsty Couch say the pain of their daughter's death is with them every day.

“It’s very difficult to go through. You wouldn’t wish this on anybody,” says Bill Auw, Kristy's father.

Couch was 4 months pregnant when she stopped to help Launsburry and Gregory Wines, who claimed they were having car trouble. Launsburry admits to getting Couch in the vehicle, holding her at gunpoint and forcing her to drive to a remote area. He then admits he made her get on her knees then shot her twice in the head.

Launsburry who was hoping for a reduced sentence, asked the judge for leniency Wednesday. But the judge said he doesn't think Launsburry can be rehabilitated.

"I do not believe that there's been significant showing of substance of change. Where it says the defendant has the possibility for rehabilitation in society," said Judge Dennis Lieber.

Two years ago, the victim's family had to go through a similar experience when Gregory Wines, the co-defendant who was with Launsburry the night of the murder was re-sentenced to serve 40 to 60 years.

This all stems from a Supreme Court ruling that it's unconstitutional to sentence a juvenile to life without parole and that they should get the chance for a re-sentencing.

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2 comments

  • G

    (This all stems from a Supreme Court ruling that it’s unconstitutional to sentence a juvenile to life without parole and that they should get the chance for a re-sentencing.) This seems like BS. If the juvenile killed someone, how is it wrong to sentence them to life without parole….Stupid ruling.