Kent Co. judge upholds life sentence for killer, then 17

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man convicted of murdering a Grand Rapids woman learned Thursday he has no chance of ever getting out of prison. 

Kent County Judge Mark Trusock resentenced Marc Osborne to life in prison without a chance of parole for the 1999 murder of 18-year-old Jessica Ledford.

Prosecutors previously argued Osborne killed Ledford in an attempt to cover up that he had raped her. He strangled her after stabbing her three times.

Osborne was 17 years old at the time of the crime. In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled offenders given a life sentence without parole before their 18th birthday should receive a new hearing.

During Thursday’s resentencing, Trusock noted how well Osborne had done in prison, saying he had the least amount of misconducts he’d ever seen on a record he had to review. However, the judge called the case “deeply disturbing” and upheld Osborne’s original sentence.

Before announcing his decision, Trusock heard heart-wrenching testimony from Ledford’s family.

“We not only live with the emptiness that’s been a part of our lives, we also live with the horrific images presented in court,” said Vicki Ledford, the victim’s stepmom.

Vicki Ledford said she’s a faithful person and has worked to forgive him.

“Forgiveness, does not absolve him of his responsibility and to suffer the consequences the rest of his life the way we have to,” she said.

Osborne also addressed the court, saying he couldn’t explain why he murdered her.

“I’m ashamed of myself. I know that there’s nothing I could ever do to undo the pain that I’ve caused,” he said to Ledford’s family.. “Just seeing what it’s done to my own family, I can only imagine to what it’s done to yours. I’m truly sorry for everything I’ve put you through the last 19 years.”

His attorney argued Osborne didn’t understand the extent of his violent actions at the time of the murder.

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