Despite his "tragically deprived childhood," a New York teenager will go to prison for 7 years to life for murdering a 65-year-old man during a robbery, a judge ruled on Oct. 19.
Brandon Grant was sentenced as a juvenile for the Oct. 15, 2013, murder of Marvin Bryant in Syracuse, New York, reports Syracuse.com. Grant, who was 15 years old at the time, could have faced a maximum sentence of 25 years to life if he were a year older.
Grant's defense requested that his sentence be reduced by one year due to his "tragically deprived childhood." Attorney Ken Moynihan explained that Grant was born "addicted to crack" and was later raised by his grandmother in difficult circumstances.
But Judge Anthony Aloi refused to reduce the sentence.
"Despite that circumstance, your deprived childhood isn't an excuse for what happened in this case," Aloi told Grant in court, according to Syracuse.com.
Police said that Grant and three other teenagers robbed and fatally stabbed Bryant while he walked around his neighborhood looking to buy crack cocaine, CNY Central reports.
The victim's family said that Bryant was a church usher who held a steady job was not defined by his drug use, notes Syracuse.com.
"It's been two years and we've lost a father, a husband, a grandfather and marvelous great grandfather," wife Sherry Bryant said in court, adding that unlike Bryant, Grant has the opportunity to turn his life around.
"I want to apologize to Mrs. Bryant for killing her husband, causing her family pain," Grant said during his sentencing. "I take full responsibility."
While Grant was eligible for a reduced sentence, the other three participants are older than 16 years old and eligible to face adult sentences.
Jahmeer Stackhouse pleaded guilty and will serve 18 years to life. Shakeith Stackhouse was found guilty after trial and will serve 25 years to life. The fourth suspect, Tony Comer faces charges of robbing the victim and luring him to his death but is not implicated in the actual stabbing. He rejected a 20 year plea deal and will stand trial in January, where he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life.