UPDATE: Three members of the "Elkhart Four" resentenced Thursday

Photo from The Elkhart Truth
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Elkhart, Ind.-- It's a legal battle that's been going on since October 2012. Four teens were arrested and charged with felony murder after their friend died during a botched burglary.

Now three of the so-called "Elkhart Four" were back in Elkhart County to be re-sentenced Thursday. Blake Layman and Anthony Sharp were sentenced to 10 years for burglary, Levi Sparks was sentenced to nine-years.

With credit for time served and good behavior the "Elkhart Three" may be out of prison before the summer.

The teens were initially sentenced to 55, 50 and 55 years for their parts in a botched burglary that resulted in their friend's death. Over a year after their convictions, the Indiana Supreme Court reversed threw them out.

After a number of appeals, the state Supreme Court justices found insufficient evidence to apply the state's felony murder law and ordered the lower court to re-sentence them to burglary.

"it was a big fight, it was a hard fight, it was a long fight," said Layman's mother, Angie Johnson after Thursday's re-sentencing.

Her son was painted as the model inmate, a graduate of the prison's GED program and selected to be part of another program for exemplary inmates.

"He's really matured, he was 16 when this happened, that's a big situation to go through at 16," Johnson added.

When NewsCenter 16 spoke to Blake Layman at the Wabash Valley Correctional facility in October, just weeks after the Supreme Court threw out their murder convictions, Layman was already thinking about the future.

"I'm okay with doing a year or two, okay, I did something wrong, I understand, I accept my punishment," Lay said on-camera, in comments made in the days before the re-sentencing, the Judge applauding Layman for accepting full responsibility and apologizing for everything that happened.

Layman's fiance, Katherine Huskey testified in court that after his release, Layman will live with her, go to his already determined job and continue a peaceful life.

"I definitely wanted the court to see how mature he's become and how much he has changed," Huskey said.

But not everyone had an exemplary record.

Anthony Sharp had 16 write-ups while in prison and he was kicked out of the GED program for failure to comply and failing to show up. As he left court to a crowd of cheering friends and family, he did a little dance and was moved into the jail bus.

Levi Sparks, sentenced to nine years could get out before the other two.

He told NewsCenter 16 in October he plans on pursuing a career as a mortician when he's out of prison and then just live his life.

"I want to get my own house, get married and start a family, and just, basically live life to the fullest but legally," Sparks added.

His family was equally excited, the legal battle was a source of heartache according to Sparks' mother April Erdos, "he has matured a lot since he's been in there, I can just hear it in his voice, in his writing."

The exact dates of their release will be calculated once the prison determines exactly how much they've already served and the credit for the completion of their GED's.

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