Elkhart Four: Jose Quiroz gets felony murder conviction modified, sentenced to 10 years in prison

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By: Krystal Vivian kvivian@953mnc.com

Jose Quiroz, the Elkhart Four man who pleaded guilty to felony murder, had his conviction modified and his sentence changed during a post-conviction relief hearing on Thursday, Feb. 11.

Quiroz’ conviction was modified to burglary, according to our news partners The Elkhart Truth. He was re-sentenced to 10 years in prison, but could be released as early as this year.

This comes after three of his co-conspirators — Levi Sparks, Blake Layman and Anthony Sharp — had their felony murder convictions overturned and modified to burglary by the Indiana Supreme Court in September.

Quiroz pleaded guilty to felony murder in November 2012. He, Sparks, Layman and Sharp were arrested in October 2012 after they broke into an Elkhart home. The homeowner was asleep upstairs when he heard the intruders and shot at them, striking and killing 21-year-old Danzele Johnson, a co-conspirator.

Sparks, Layman and Sharp were convicted of felony murder after a trial in 2013 and sentenced to at least 50 years in prison each. They were each re-sentenced on the burglary charges in January.

Sparks was sentenced to 9 years in prison and was recently released after receiving credits for time served and other programs. Layman is expected to be released later in 2016, while Sharp is expected to be released in 2018.