Judge: Landrum 4, Napier 6 life sentences

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 24, 2005

Michael Landrum and Jeffrey Napier will spend the rest of their lives in prison. Judge Eddie Hardaway Jr. chose Wednesday to go with the decisions of the jury in both cases handing down six life sentences to Napier and four to Landrum.

In addition to the sentences, the two will also split restitution 0f $18,170 to the family of the victims for funeral costs. A total of $10,205 has been paid to date. Landrum is appealing his restitution on the grounds that his finances have been exhausted through legal fees and other costs during the trial.

As expected District Attorney Greg Griggers sought to have the judge overturn the decision by the jury to let Landrum live, Griggers said he knew this would be difficult to do, but asked Hardaway to consider the victims families.

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“I have been practicing before this court for nine years with five of them as District Attorney,” Griggers said. “In that time I have come to appreciate the jury’s decisions. It would be difficult to ask the judge to overturn the decision by the jury, but that is what we are asking.”

In addition to consideration for the families Griggers said the court should also consider the brutal manner of the crimes.

“We are asking this court to overturn the decision fro the families of the victims,” Griggers said. “We are asking so on the basis of proof that these are cruel and heinous crimes.”

Griggers closed by saying Landrum had proven to be selfish and would not be able to make a significant contribution to other inmates as the defense had argued.

“The argument of the defense was the defendant could make a difference in the lives of others,” Griggers said. “We disagree. Michael Landrum showed throughout the trial that he is concerned with no one but himself. I don’t think I have ever seen a worse crime.”

Defense attorney Dennis Knizley stuck with his belief that Landrum could make a difference. He added the court should also consider the fact that Landrum had no prior convictions.

“The jury has spoken their voice on this case,” Knizley said. “Due to the fact that there are no priors we ask the court to stay with their decision.”

Landrum also had a chance to plead his case to the judge. He said he hoped he would be given the chance to help others and make a positive difference in the prison system.

“I still believe I can be supportive to people I am around,” Landrum said. “I think I can still have a positive influence on people. If I am around prisoners with problems I fell like I can guide them.”

The sentences for both Napier and Landrum will be consecutive and will not have the possibility of parole meaning they will both spend the remainder of their lives in prison.