Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Convicted Killer Wants New Trial, Says His Sentence Was Too Soft ...


A suburban Chicago man who pleaded guilty to and was convicted of murder in a 2001 slaying has been granted a retrial after he argued that his previous 30-year prison sentence was not harsh enough.

Benny Deanda Jr., 26, of Elgin, pleaded guilty in 2001 to the murder of 16-year-old Mario Jiminez, the Chicago Tribune reports. Deanda allegedly shot Jiminez after the two entered into a verbal altercation. Deanda was 17 at the time of the original trial.

Levi Harris, an assistant public defender, said that Deanda wants another trial in order to pursue a self-defense argument.

If convicted a second time of the same crime, Deanda's original sentence could be doubled to 60 years -- or even life in prison.

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