Michigan's oldest juvenile lifer, 74-year-old Sheldry Topp, to be released
A judge has cleared the way for the release of a 74-year-old man who is the oldest Michigan prisoner serving a life sentence for murder as a teen.
Sheldry Topp has been in prison since 1962. But he was resentenced Tuesday to a minimum of 40 years. Attorney Deborah LaBelle says the new sentence means Topp should immediately be eligible for freedom.
Michigan and other states were forced to change the way they sentence teens after the U.S. Supreme Court said minors can’t automatically be given life prison terms. No-parole sentences still are possible. That’s what prosecutor Jessica Cooper wanted for Topp.
But Oakland County Judge James Alexander says Topp has been rehabilitated.
Topp was convicted of fatally stabbing a man during a robbery. He was 17 at the time of the death.
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