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Man serving life for 1996 decapitation to get resentencing

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 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.

Federico Cruz, who was 16 at the time of the killing, was convicted of murder and got the mandatory sentence after a jury rejected an insanity defense in the slaying of 17-year-old David Crawford. Cruz suffocated Crawford. He cut off the victim’s head, took it home and mutilated it.

Cruz, now 39, asked Judge Dennis Leiber on Monday for an eventual chance at parole. Leiber plans to decide Wednesday.

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.

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