In Michigan, 2nd-degree murder can be described as an unplanned or non-premeditated, intentional killing or a death caused by a reckless disregard for human life.
Michigan has its fair share of criminals getting into the national news. Let’s take a look at a case that was sentenced in June 2017.
In June 2017 Brenton Walker was sentenced to 45-70 years in prison for killing a 42-year-old woman and then dismembering and burning her remains.
In the summer of 2016, 55-year-old Walker of Millersburg, Michigan, met 42-year-old Heather Young at a bar in Onaway, Michigan. She had recently had a fight with her boyfriend.
Walker took Young back to his house. When she told him she had a boyfriend he got mad and shot her in the leg. Next, he helped her bandage it. Then, when she sprayed him with mace and tried to run, he shot and killed her.
The rest of the story does not need to be repeated. It appears that he did initially try to cover it up even though he later told investigators the whole story.
Heather Young’s remains were found in a wooded area in Millersburg, Michigan near Rainy Lake on August 9, 2016.
No Remorse for Brutal Murder
During the sentencing on June 12, 2017 at the 89th district court in Rogers City, Michigan, Walker proceeded to tell the judge he was “by no means sorry about what I did.” He admitted in court that he’d always wanted to kill someone. Before he met Heather Young, he was hoping for an opportunity to do so. He said he’d chosen Heather because she reminded him of his ex-wife and other women from his past.
Apparently, this was both his day in the sun and his chance to release his anger at another woman. According to UpNorthLive.com, Walker stated, “Well now, when I was given the opportunity to follow through with something that I’ve known for a long time that I’m capable of doing, it felt great. I feel vindicated because of it. I’ve never felt better in my life.”
Walker’s remarks even stunned the judge as reported by WBKB11.
Brenton Walker took a plea deal. He was sentenced to 2 years for count 2 of possession of a firearm. In addition, he was sentenced to 45 years to 70 years for count 6 of consecutive 2nd-degree murder.
Not everyone walks around hoping and planning for an opportunity to kill. Most people don’t want to do that.
You may be asking who would do this or that kind of crime. What kind of person?
Criminals often have done something they didn’t mean to do in the heat of passion. Or they didn’t realize it was going to be such a big deal. Or some other desire drove them to commit a crime. Additionally, most of them aren’t violent criminals because violent crime is relatively rare in our country.
We may never know what contributed to Walker’s decision to commit this horrendous crime.
2nd-Degree Murder Penalties in Michigan
In 1846, Michigan became the first government in the English-speaking world to abolish capital punishment for murder and lesser crimes. In 1964, Michigan’s constitution was ratified to prohibit the death penalty.
The consequences for being convicted and sentenced to 2nd-degree murder in Michigan is punishment by imprisonment in the state prison for life, or any term of years, in the discretion of the court trying the same.
What is a Plea Deal in Michigan?
In Walker’s case, he took a plea deal. A plea deal or plea bargain is a plea agreement between the prosecution and a defendant. The defendant will plead guilty or no-contest to avoid trial in a plea deal, and may receive a reduced punishment.