GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man will spend decades in prison for shooting and killing a 16-year-old while he was riding his bike last year.
Brandon Lee Bechtold Jr. was sentenced Wednesday to 40 to 60 years in prison in Kent County Circuit Court by Judge Christina Elmore, according to her staff. First, he will serve a mandatory two-year term for firearm use.
In June 2023, a jury found Bechtold guilty of first-degree murder, three counts of assault with intent to murder, two counts of felony firearm and one count of carrying a concealed weapon, according to the prosecutor’s office.
In Michigan, first-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole. But since Bechtold was a juvenile when 16-year-old Ja’Juan Webb was killed, he received a lesser sentence.
The drive-by shooting happened July 4, 2022 on Grand Rapids’ northeast side. Police said Webb was riding bikes with friends.
After the murder, Bechtold fled to Georgia, where he was arrested on July 8, 2022, the prosecutor said.
Bechtold, then 17, was charged in August 2022.