LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania court has denied the appeal of a prison inmate who was 16 years old when he took part in the murder of a West Donegal Township man during a random robbery in 2007.
Emru Kebede, now 29, challenged his second-degree murder conviction and the legality of his sentence of 30 years to life for the killing of Ray Diener. Superior Court on Wednesday denied his arguments.
Prosecutors say Kebede and three other men were looking for someone to rob and stopped at Diener’s home after seeing him through a window. They rang the doorbell and told Diener their car had broken down.
One of the men, Abraham Sanchez, pulled a gun and ordered Diener to the ground. Diener was shot as he wrestled Sanchez for the gun. Sanchez then backed up and shot Diener in the chest and neck before the four fled, leaving Diener to die on his doorstep.
Kebede was originally sentenced to life without parole. He was re-sentenced in 2018 because the U.S. Supreme Court had outlawed automatic life-without-parole sentences for juveniles.
He will be eligible for a parole hearing in 2037.
Sanchez was 18 years old at the time. He was sentenced to death.
Two other defendants, Lorenzo Schrijver and Robert Baker, were convicted of third-degree murder and sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison.