PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 39-year-old woman awaiting a possibly shorter prison sentence has died after she was found unconscious in a cell, authorities said.
Angela McConnell died Sunday, two days after being taken to a hospital following an apparent suicide at a Michigan prison for women in Washtenaw County, the Detroit Free Press reported.
McConnell was serving a life sentence for the deaths of an elderly couple and their daughter in Kalamazoo County in 2000. She was 17 at the time.
Because of her age, McConnell was eligible to return to court for a new sentencing hearing that could have led to an opportunity for parole. Separately, the Innocence Clinic at University of Michigan law school had been asked to investigate her case.
“It’s awful, just awful,” said Deborah LaBelle, a lawyer who spent years working to strike down no-parole sentences for Michigan teens convicted of murder.
Michael Faraone told the Free Press that he was appointed to represent McConnell in the resentencing. But he said McConnell first wanted to pursue her claim of innocence.
McConnell was convicted at trial in 2008 after withdrawing a guilty plea to second-degree murder. Authorities said she was part of a scheme to feign car trouble to get inside a Kalamazoo-area home for a robbery.
Three people were killed by accomplices, according to trial testimony.