An Erie man has his mandatory life sentence revoked after being convicted of a 1996 murder. He will, however, still serve around 14 years in prison before he will be eligible for parole.
Michael Crosby is still facing life in prison, but he now has a chance of getting out sooner. Crosby, 17 years old when he was found guilty of first-degree murder, re-sentenced today because of a supreme court’s decision concerning juveniles receiving life sentences.
Now 39-years-old, Crosby is re-sentenced to 30 years to life behind bars for murder, and an additional four and a half years to nine years for gun-related charges. Crosby, having already served 21 years of that sentence, will now do an additional 14 years, for the shooting death of 19-year-old Demetrius Johnson in January of 1996.
Crosby was convicted when he was just 23 days shy of turning 18 years old. At the time, that carried a mandatory life in prison sentence. However, five years ago, the supreme court ruled life sentences for juveniles unconstitutional.
The prosecution was asking for the life sentence to be reimposed. Prosecuting Attorney Erin Connelly says, “this was a very cold-blooded, calculated murder. The victim was essentially set up and lured to his death and was executed by the defendant, himself. He was the one who pulled the trigger three times in his (Johnson’s) face.”
The sentencing lasted hours and Crosby took the stand, speaking directly to Johnson’s mother, saying, “I’ve waited over two decades to see you face to face. I’m so sorry.” Johnson’s mother not wishing to speak with us on camera, but she tells us she is satisfied with the sentence and just wants to move on.
Crosby is the first of nine Erie juveniles to be re-sentenced after originally receiving life sentences. Crosby will be over 50 years old when he is eligible for parole. Testimony revealed today that Crosby has been working in prison to help other inmates battling drug and alcohol addiction. He says he will continue to do that and work to help others when he gets out of prison.