Michigan ex-con gets life without parole in 2 killings

AP News
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Posted: Jun 22, 2015 8:26 PM
Michigan ex-con gets life without parole in 2 killings

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — An ex-convict charged in two additional deaths was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Monday for killing two western Michigan women last fall.

Leon Means pleaded no contest April 28 to two counts of first-degree murder in the slayings of Anna Lawson, 63, and Judy Bushman, 62. Their bodies were found last October in their homes just blocks apart in Muskegon Heights, about 40 miles northwest of Grand Rapids.

Means also is charged in the killings of his estranged wife, Cynthia H. Means, 30, and her mother, Linda Herrera, 48, after his escape from prison in 1989. Muskegon Heights police say Means has confessed to those slayings.

"Take your punishment like a man. Be a man," Tesa Griffin, Lawson's niece, told Means before the sentencing.

"I guess God will be the final judgment of my fate," Means, 62, said before the sentencing. "And I want to ... say I'm sorry to the families, my family, the victims."

"Sorry won't cut it for my mom and sister," called out Celestino Herrera, Linda Herrera's son and Cynthia Means' brother.

Muskegon County Circuit Judge Timothy G. Hicks imposed the sentence on Means under Michigan's law mandating life without parole for first-degree murder.

Open murder charges are pending in the earlier case. No trial date has been set.