24 juvenile offenders serving life terms for 21 homicides in Kent County

The U.S. Supreme Court in June, 2012 ruled mandatory life sentences for juvenile offenders is unconstitutional.

There are 367 Michigan inmates serving life sentences for murders committed before their 18th birthday, including 24 from Kent County. 

The oldest is 52; the youngest 21.

Here’s a look at the offenders and their age when the crime occurred:

David A. Samel, 17: He strangled, beat and stabbed Robert D. Sallon, 18, in the basement of Golden 8 Ball pool hall on South Division Avenue at Kirtland Street in October, 1981.  Now 52, Samel is at the Ionia Correctional Facility. He will be resentenced Sept. 23 before Judge Donald A. Johnston.

First of Kent County's 24 teen killers return to court for resentencing hearings

Stephen Launsburry, 16, and Gregory Wines, 17: They abducted Kent County Jail clerk Kristy Michelle Couch in November, 1993 after flagging her down for a ride, saying they ran out of gas.  Couch, 22, was shot twice in the head and dumped at the CSX railroad yard on Freeman Avenue SW. Launsburry and Wines were arrested in Illinois driving the victim’s 1993 Mazda. Launsburry, now 39, is at the Ernest C. Brooks Correctional Facility in Muskegon Heights. The Kent County Prosecutor's Office wants Launsburry to remain in prison for life. Wines, now 40, is at the Muskegon Correctional Facility.

Maurice M. Sanders, 16: He was involved in the Dec. 1993 robbery and shooting death of a Yellow Cab driver. Louis Biles III, 47, was shot once in the head. He was found slumped over the wheel and his coin changer outside the cab on Charles Avenue south of Wealthy Street SE.  Sanders, now 39, is at the Muskegon Correctional Facility.  The Kent County Prosecutor's Office wants Sanders to remain in prison for life.

Federico L. Cruz, 16: In April 1996, Cruz met and killed a Sparta teen along railroad tracks near the Sparta Airport. The headless body of David Crawford, 17, remained unidentified for several days. Cruz made a videotape of himself talking to the severed head, which he called “Eddie.’’  Now 37, Cruz is at Macomb Correctional Facility in New Haven. The Kent County Prosecutor's Office wants Cruz  to remain in prison for life.

Leeclifton J. Moore, 17: He fatally beat his girlfriend’s two-year-old son, Armon Cola, in August, 2005 at the home they shared on Bradford Street near Perkins Avenue NE.  Now 29, Moore is at the Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility in Muskegon Heights.  The Kent County Prosecutor's Office wants Moore to remain in prison for life.

Ahmad R. Williams, 15: In January, 1998, he fatally shot Derrick Pimpleton outside Miss Tracy’s Liquor Store on Franklin Street at Neland Avenue SE. Pimpleton, also 15, was a freshman at Ottawa Hills High School. Williams, now 34, is at Muskegon Correctional Facility. He will be resentenced Sept. 30 by Judge Mark Trusock.

Marc A. Osborne, 17: He stabbed 18-year-old Jessica Ann Ledford as she walked through Highland Park on College Avenue NE in May, 1999. Osborne, now 35, is at Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia.  The Kent County Prosecutor's Office wants Osborne to remain in prison for life.

Willie T. Clemons, 15: In October, 1995, he shot 20-year-old Jason Stanfield in an apparent robbery outside Fulton Heights Foods on East Fulton Street near Wilcox Park as horrified patrons looked on.  Clemons peddled away on a bicycle. Now 36, Clemons is at Ionia Correctional Facility.  The Kent County Prosecutor's Office wants Clemons to remain in prison for life.

Garron L. Mason, 17: He strangled and stabbed Phyllis Kruzel, 28, at a home on Vries Street SW west of U.S. 131. Kruzel, a Muskegon mother of two, was visiting her sister when she was killed in December, 1982. DNA evidence was used to convict Mason 20 years after the homicide.  Now 51, Mason is at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson.

Michael E. Patterson, 17: In March, 1988, he shot store clerk Randy Tomson, 31, during a hold-up at Day and Nite Market II on Burton Street west of Nelson Avenue SE. The married father of two was shot in the head. Patterson was convicted of the murder in 2006.  Now 46, he is at the Chippewa Correctional Facility in the Upper Peninsula town of Kincheloe.  The Kent County Prosecutor's Office wants Patterson to remain in prison for life.

Paul Carter and Juan Cantu, both 16: They abducted Daniel VanTatenhove on Sheldon Avenue and Logan Street SE in November, 1995 as VanTatenhove tried to retrieve his stolen car. The victim, 35, was driven to Newaygo County and shot in the head.  Still alive, they put him in the car trunk and returned to Grand Rapids. Police found VanTatenhove’s body inside the Cavalier on Francis Avenue SE near Garfield Park. Both 37, Carter and Cantu are at Carson City Correctional Facility in Montcalm County.  The Kent County Prosecutor's Office wants Carter to remain in prison for life.

Robert Jarar Maze, 15, Christopher Peltier, 15 and Saulo Montalvo, 16: The trio killed a store clerk in February 1996 while robbing the Beer Kooler party store on Alpine Avenue south of 9th Street NW. Rodney Corp, 61, died from a rifle shot to the chest. The trio took the store’s cash register and fled in a stolen car.  Maze, 36, is at St. Louis Correctional Facility in Gratiot County.  The Kent County Prosecutor's Office wants Maze to remain in prison for life. Peltier, 35, is at Michigan Reformatory in Ionia. Montalvo, 36, is at Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia. Peltier and Montalvo will be resentenced Sept. 30 by Judge Mark Trusock. 

Damon A. Jackson, 17: In September, 1997, Jackson beat his one-month-old son while the infant’s mother attended school. Brain stem injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome left the boy blind and deaf. There was also evidence of sexual abuse. He was placed in foster care and died two years later. Jackson claimed he was criminally insane. Now 37, Jackson is at Kinross Correctional Facility in the Upper Peninsula town of Kincheloe.  The Kent County Prosecutor's Office wants Jackson to remain in prison for life.

Chad Edward Maleski and Joshua Rogers, both 17: In March, 2000, the pair abducted a retired autoworker outside Michigan Lanes bowling alley on Michigan Street west of Ball Avenue NE. Willie Jones, 66, was severely beaten, shoved into a car trunk and displayed to friends of the pair. Maleski and Rogers drove him to Mecosta County and stabbed him to death. Jones’ body was found in woods in Aetna Township, about 40 miles north of Grand Rapids. Maleski and Rogers were arrested driving Jones’ yellow Cadillac.  Two adult co-defendants were also convicted. Maleski, 34, is at Alger Correctional Facility in Munising. Rogers, 34, is at Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer.  The Kent County Prosecutor's Office wants Maleski and Rogers to remain in prison for life.

Demariol D. Boykin, 17: In what started as a fist fight over $50, Boykin fired multiple shots at Shawn Michael Broyles in January, 2003. Broyles, 19, was shot twice while fleeing and then kicked as he lay dying on a sidewalk along Alto Avenue near Dickinson Street SE. Now 31, Boykin is at Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility in Muskegon Heights. He has a resentencing hearing set for Sept. 30 before Judge Dennis Leiber.

Jon D. Siesling, 17: In one of West Michigan’s more notorious cases, Siesling fatally stabbed his mother and two sisters inside their home on Walker Avenue NW north of Int. 96. The bodies of Sharon, 42, Katelin, 15 and Leah, 6, were found in different areas of the house; all died from multiple stab wounds. Siesling dialed 911 after the January, 2003 killings and waited for police. He surrendered without a struggle. Now 31, Siesling is at Macomb Correctional Facility in New Haven.  The Kent County Prosecutor's Office wants Siesling to remain in prison for life.

Giovanni Casper, 17: He fired several rounds in a November, 2006 gang-related shooting at Kentwood Fun Spot skating rink, at 52nd Street and South Division Avenue in Kentwood. Kenneth Dear, 16, a junior at Godwin Learning Center, died at the scene. Casper, now 27, is at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson. He has a resentencing hearing on Sept. 30 before Judge Dennis Leiber.

Mike T. Zuniga, 17: In November, 2008, he was the getaway driver in the gang-related murder of Abelino Jeronimo Ramos, also 17. Ramos was shot four times, including once in the back of the head, on Shamrock Street east of Grandville Avenue SW. Zuniga, now 25, is at the Baraga Maximum Facility in the Upper Peninsula.

Devonte Jaquez Warren, 17: On Jan. 8, 2013, he gunned down 18-year-old Gregory J. Woods on Neland Avenue near Thomas Street SE to avenge a gang-related slaying that took place two years earlier. The victim was shot when he answered a knock at the door. A jury in April, 2014 convicted Warren of first-degree murder.  He was sentenced by Judge Donald A. Johnston in June, 2014 to life without parole. Warren, now 21, is at the Michigan Reformatory in Ionia.

(© 2016 WZZM)


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