Two men convicted in brutal gang rape case seek prison sentence reduction
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS 12) —
Eleven years after a brutal gang rape two of the four men involved in the Dunbar Village attacks are hoping to have their sixty-year prison sentences reduced.
It was in 2007 when police said four teenagers stormed into a woman’s home in Dunbar Village raped, sodomized, and beat her.
Police said they even forced her to engage in a sex act with her own son.
Before the teens took off police said they ordered the pair into a bathtub filled with chemicals wanting to light them on fire, but couldn’t find a lighter.
The four teens were charged as adults.
Three were sentenced to life in prison.
Years later two of the teens, Jakaris Taylor and Nathan Walker had their sentences reduced after the Supreme Court ruled it wasn’t just to lock away minors for life.
“What the U.S Supreme Court has said is that juveniles need to be treated just as that, as juveniles. That their brain is still growing in essence that their ability to understand clearly right from wrong and control their actions is not fully formed. Their brain is not fully formed when they’re teenagers,” said Defense Attorney Gregg Lerman.
Taylor and Walker are now both serving a sixty-year sentence.
Their lawyers are hoping when they face a judge in court next month for a resentencing hearing they will have their sentences reduced again.
“It is a valid argument if you sentence someone to 60 years, in essence, you sentence them to life,” said Lerman.
Defense Attorney Gregg Lerman said the purpose of the Supreme Court’s ruling is to give juveniles a shot at rehabilitation.
He said Taylor and Walker, now both in their twenties may not get that shot if they spend the next sixty years in jail.
“They need to be punished. They need to be sentenced to prison time, but there should be some opportunity to show that they can be rehabilitated and be put back into society,” said Lerman.
Lerman said it’s likely the two could have their sentences reduced.
“I think 60 years violates the intent of the Supreme Court’s opinion saying that juveniles should not be sentenced to life, so I do not think it will hold up,” said Lerman.
Taylor has already been transferred to the Palm Beach County Jail in anticipation of his sentencing hearing next month.
He is set to be in court with Nathan Walker on March 5, 2018.
However, Walkers attorney is seeking to have his clients re-sentencing continued until sometime in the summer of 2018.