BERRIEN Co., Mich.--- Two Michigan juveniles are facing life sentences after being convicted of first degree murder.
Berrien County Prosecutor Michael Sepic has announced today that he has filed motions in two cases requesting life without parole.
A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 and statutory changes enacted in Michigan this year required Sepic to file such a motion by June 2.
If a trial judge decides that the juveniles should not be sentenced to life without parole the statute requires a a minimum of between 25-40 years and a maximum of not less than 60 years.
The first case involves Dequarius Stewart who was 17 at the time he committed his offense. He was convicted of first degree murder in the death of Steven Kuzlak. Stewart used a wrench to strike Kuzlak three times in the head as part of a robbery attempt. The offense occurred in Benton Harbor.
The second case involved Dakota Eliason who was 14 at the time he shot and killed his grandfather, Jesse Miles, while he slept. Eliason was convicted of First Degree Premeditated Murder in the case as he admitted to contemplating about the murder over a period of time. The offense occurred in Buchanan Township.