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Man again sentenced to life, no parole for 1996 decapitation

November 7, 2018

Federico Luis Cruz testifies before Judge Dennis Leiber at the Kent County Courthouse on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018. Cruz , serving life in prison without parole for killing and decapitating a teen in 1996 and mutilating the head in front of a video camera is getting a chance at a new sentence. (Neil Blake/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan man has again been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing and decapitating a teen in 1996 and mutilating the head in front of a video camera.

WOOD-TV reports that 39-year-old Federico Cruz learned his fate Wednesday in a Kent County courtroom.

Cruz was 16 when 17-year-old David Crawford was suffocated. Crawford’s head was cut off and later mutilated.

Cruz was convicted of murder and got the mandatory sentence after a jury rejected an insanity defense. Cruz and many Michigan juvenile lifers who are serving no-parole sentences are eligible for a new hearing because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

The television station reports that a judge told Cruz Wednesday that progress made in prison toward rehabilitation does not mitigate that he is a sociopath.

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