Update: Tuesday, 4:25 p.m. -- Richard Wershe’s appellate attorney, Peter Van Hoek, told the Detroit News he and his client were disappointed, but they plan to file an appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court.
“This is just another step in the process,” Van Hoek told Oralandar Brand-Williams of the News.
From Earlier Today
Just weeks ago, it looked as if Richard "White Boy Rick" Wershe Jr. had gotten the biggest break of his adult life: A Detroit judge had agreed to resentence him after serving 27 years in prison for a drug trafficking conviction.
In all likelihood, Wayne County Circuit Judge Dana Hathaway would have sentenced Wershe to time served and let him go free. He is currently serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole.
But the Wayne Prosecutor's Office opposed the the judge's decision to resentence and filed an appeal.
On Tuesday, Wershe got terrible news.
The Michigan Court of Appeals reversed Hathaway's decision, and said Wershe, 46, could not be resentenced, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Elisha Anderson of the the Freep reports:
“The trial court cannot set aside a valid sentence without a legal basis to do so, and as the trial court recognized, defendant’s sentence is not unconstitutional,” the order issued today by the Court of Appeals said. “Any attempt to resentence a defendant with a valid sentence ‘may infringe upon the governor’s commutation powers and intrude upon the parole board’s jurisdiction."
The ruling went on to say:
"Because the defendant failed to present any retroactive change in the law that governs his circumstances, the court rule required the trial court to deny his successive motion.”
Wershe has the option of appealing the ruling.
His next parole hearing is set for 2017. -- Allan Lengel