Inmate serving life asks Michigan governor for freedom

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Efren Paredes Jr. wasn't old enough to drive when sentenced to life in prison without parole for murdering his boss in St. Joseph.

Now 35 years old, he has an outside chance at freedom after proclaiming his innocence for almost two decades.

The possibility is a nightmare for the victim's family. But it means hope for Paredes and supporters who say he was wrongfully convicted because of a rush to judgment and slanted media coverage.

Grocery store manager Rick Tetzlaff was shot to death in a 1989 store robbery. Paredes was a part-time bagger who had no criminal record before his arrest.

His release depends on Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who can commute sentences. Paredes is among more than 300 Michigan inmates serving life for crimes committed as a juvenile.

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