Man convicted of killing cop as teen gets shorter sentence


DETROIT (AP) – A judge has reduced the life sentence of a Detroit man who has spent 42 years in prison for the fatal shooting of an off-duty police officer.

Charles Lewis was 17 years old in 1976 when Gerald Sypitkowski was killed. Judge Qiana Lillard says it was a “spur of the moment … robbery that went bad.”

The Detroit News says the judge on Thursday resentenced Lewis to 37 to 60 years in prison. His attorney, Sanford Schulman, believes the 60-year-old Lewis will be immediately eligible for release.

Lewis’ case was reopened because the U.S. Supreme Court said teens can’t automatically be sentenced to life terms like adults convicted of murder. The Wayne County prosecutor’s office didn’t ask for another life sentence but still wanted Lewis to serve a term of years.

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