For Immediate Release
January 6, 2015
Eastpointe Quiznos Killers Resentenced to Life
MT. CLEMENS, MICHIGAN — Two convicted murderers whose life sentences had been vacated pursuant to a 2012 United States Supreme Court decision were today resentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
Ihab Masalmani and Robert Taylor had been found guilty of the August 2009 carjacking abduction and murder of Matthew Landry, a Macomb Township resident. Landry was leaving a Quiznos at Ten Mile and Gratiot when the two strangers attacked him at gunpoint.
Masalmani and Taylor used Landry’s ATM card to withdraw cash and to buy gas for the carjacked Honda. They kept Landry alive for ten hours, driving him to various drug houses in Detroit, where they purchased and consumed crack cocaine. They then shot Landry in the back of the head and left his body face down in an abandoned Detroit house.
In separate trials, Masalmani and Taylor were found guilty of multiple felonies, including Felony Murder, and sentenced to life in prison without parole. These sentences were vacated by the Michigan Court of Appeals as a result of the United States Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory life sentences without parole for juvenile defendants violated the 8th Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment. Masalmani’s age was 17 years, 8 months at the time of the murder. Taylor’s was 16 years, 10 months.
Michigan then passed its own law giving courts several sentencing options for juveniles convicted of murder, following a mandatory hearing on the factors behind the sentence.
Following three days of testimony, Macomb Circuit Judge Diane Druzinski today resentenced both Masalmani and Taylor to life without parole. In her opinion, she cited the advanced age of the defendants, and the full scope of the facts of the case.
Victims and law enforcement officials applauded the decision.
“We are in complete agreement with Judge Druzinski,” said Prosecutor Eric Smith. “These life sentences are completely warranted in this case, and will help bring final closure to Matthew Landry’s family.
“We are grateful to Judge Druzinski for her firm justice,” he said.