Court rejects leaner sentence for killer

Associated Press


A state appeals court has rejected a bid to reduce the decades-long sentence of a teenager convicted of a northwestern Pennsylvania murder authorities said occurred during an attempted bicycle theft.

The three-judge panel upheld the sentence of 35 years to life imposed on Derrys Sanders Jr., who was 14 at the time of the slaying.

Sanders pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the shooting death of 18-year-old Jacob Pushinsky in Erie in July 2015.

The appeal challenged the sentence as exceeding sentencing guidelines for juveniles in such cases, but the appeals court said judges can impose more severe sentences.

They also rejected the idea that mitigating circumstances weren’t properly considered.

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