Michigan Supreme Court to review sentence in ’09 murder


FILE – This Jan. 14, 2013, file photo shows a gavel sits on a desk inside the Court of Appeals at the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center in Denver. The coronavirus pandemic has crippled the U.S. legal system, creating constitutional dilemmas as the accused miss their days in court. Judges from California to Maine have postponed trials and nearly all in-person hearings to keep crowds from packing courthouses. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

EASTPOINTE, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court will look at the life sentence of a man who was a teenager in 2009 when he was charged with a notorious kidnapping and murder in suburban Detroit.

Robert Taylor, now 29, is serving a life sentence with no chance for parole for his role in the death of Matt Landry, who was kidnapped from outside a sandwich shop in Eastpointe.

Taylor was 16 at the time of the crime, a key issue at sentencing. Life sentences are no longer automatic for teens convicted of murder.

The Supreme Court said Thursday it will hear arguments next year about whether a Macomb County judge properly weighed many factors, including Taylor’s family life and home environment, when she ordered a life sentence.

The court in 2020 similarly looked at the life sentence of Taylor’s co-defendant, Ihab Masalmani, who was 17 at the time of Landry’s death.

The court let the sentence stand with a brief order. Three justices, including Chief Justice Bridget McCormack, were in favor of granting a new sentencing hearing.

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