Delaware High Court Upholds Mandatory Sentence in Teen Murder Case

Mar 12, 2019

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a man who was sentenced to life in prison for a 1998 murder committed when he was a teenager but later resentenced to 37 years behind bars after a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The court on Monday rejected Justin Burrell's claims that the mandatory minimum sentences he was given last year were unconstitutional.

Burrell was 17 when he donned a wig, hat, sunglasses and his sister's makeup, then forced his way into a woman's trailer to steal money. Burrell grabbed Dolly Fenwick by the hair, put a gun against her head, and shot her.

Burrell's resentencing was one of several required in Delaware after the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 declared that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juvenile killers were unconstitutional.