LANSING – The Michigan Supreme Court declined to hear separate appeals from two area murderers in rulings released on November 2.
Netherlands native Jared Chance, 32, was sentenced to life imprisonment after a Kent County jury found him guilty in 2019 of murder and mutilation of his acquaintance, Ashley Young.
Young’s torso and limbs were found in Chance’s apartment in Grand Rapids. His parents, who live in Holland, have also been prosecuted for helping Chance transport a saw and other items between Grand Rapids and Holland.
Young graduated from Grand Haven High School.
Chance appealed a January State Court of Appeals ruling that upheld his conviction and sentence, but Michigan’s highest court declined to hear the case, saying justices no ‘were “not convinced that the questions asked should be considered by this court”.
In his appeal of his conviction and sentence, Chance had previously argued that the jury should have been given the opportunity to return a verdict of manslaughter. Chance also appealed the judge’s sentence because it exceeded the recommended sentence of 22.5 to 75 years for second degree murder. The appeals court rejected Chance’s arguments.
“The guidelines do not take into account the level of brutality involved in this matter, or your lack of compassion and complete lack of remorse,” Judge Mark Trusock said at Chance’s sentencing hearing. âUnfortunately, I have been doing this kind of work for 34 years. I have been on the bench for 13 years. I have personally been involved in over 200 murder and death cases. This is without a doubt the worst case I have ever been involved in.
Chance is serving his sentence of 100 to 200 years at the state’s Saginaw Correctional Facility, where his first release date is December 1, 2118, when Chance is said to be 129.
Port Sheldon man Michael McNeal was convicted by a 2019 Ottawa County jury of the murder of his wife, Sherri McNeal. On July 24, 2018, McNeal shot and killed his wife, then shot himself with the same gun, surviving the suicide attempt while suffering facial injuries. The jury found McNeal guilty of second degree murder and a judge sentenced him to 47 to 77 years in prison.
The Michigan Court of Appeals, in a June 17 decision, upheld McNeal’s conviction and sentence. McNeal had complained of improper instructions to the jury regarding their verdict options and overly harsh sentences. The judge drew on McNeal’s history of domestic violence in a previous marriage and skepticism of McNeal’s remorse as part of his reasoning for imposing a long prison term.
The Michigan Supreme Court declined to hear McNeal’s appeal against the appeal decision, saying the court was “not convinced” that the issues McNeal raised warranted the court’s review.
McNeal, 58, is incarcerated at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Center in Jackson. Its first release date is 2065, when McNeal would be 102.