A 23-year-old Minnesota woman was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison on Oct. 16 for her involvement in the June 2016 beheading of a 20-year-old man. Her defense attorney had argued for the shortest term available, noting that she help authorities find the body and took responsibility for her role by pleading guilty.
The woman testified that, in June 2016, her then-boyfriend and the deceased man forced her to participate in sexual acts. The former boyfriend then eventually drove the two to a rural road where he claimed that the car was having trouble. When the 20-year-old went to check under the hood, the woman alleged that the former boyfriend struck him over the head using a baseball bat. The woman then admitted to using a machete to behead the 20-year-old.
The woman was convicted on intentional second-degree murder charges. She is required to serve at least two-thirds of her sentence, about 20 years, before she becomes eligible for release. For his role in the killing, the 36-year-old former boyfriend was charged with first-degree murder. He was convicted and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A person who is convicted opn murder charge could face decades or even life in prison without possibility of parole. However, there are a number of defense strategies that a criminal law attorney could use depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. For example, the attorney may present evidence that the killing occurred in self-defense. The attorney could also argue that the act was an accident and was not intentional, which could have the effect of having the charges reduced.
Source: Grand Rapids Herald-Review, “GRENIGER SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS IN BEHEADING CASE“, Tom Olsen, Oct. 17, 2017