NILES, Mich. (AP) — A young Michigan man serving a no-parole sentence for killing his grandfather at age 14 has received an extraordinary break and will be eligible for release after 35 years.
Dakotah Eliason, now 19, got a second chance Friday from a Berrien County judge as a result of a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision.
The court said teens convicted of murder can’t automatically get no-parole sentences like adults. Judges now have more options and can explore a killer’s childhood and other factors.
Eliason qualified for another sentencing hearing, although hundreds in prison have not. Judge Scott Schofield believes Eliason can be rehabilitated and sentenced him to 35 years to 60 years in prison.
Eliason asked for forgiveness, although some relatives said he didn’t deserve a second chance.