Man originally sentenced to life without parole for murder now resentenced

Published: May. 27, 2020 at 8:11 AM EDT
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A Benton Harbor man who expected to spend the rest of life in prison is now eligible for parole.

According to our newsgathering partners at

, a judge resentenced Christopher Tobar, 44, to 25 to 60 years in prison for the 1993 murder of Paries Cummings.

Tobar was 17 when on Jan. 30, 1993, he fatally shot Cummings, 33, as she walked alone around 2:30 a.m. along Clay Street.

He was found guilty of first-degree felony murder and was sentenced to life without parole, the mandatory penalty for the crime in Michigan.

However, the United States Supreme Court has since ruled that mandatory, automatic life without parole for anyone under 18 is unconstitutional because a juvenile’s brain is not fully developed.

Sofia Nelson, from the State Appellate Defenders Office asked for a re-sentence of 25 years minimum, saying Tobar is at risk of contracting coronavirus in prison and has been determined by prison staff to be low risk of violence or reoffending.

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