Suspect considers 33-60 year deal in Detroit firefighter's murder
(FOX 2) - The life of a teen accused of killing a Detroit firefighter hangs in the balance as he has just four days to take a plea deal from prosecutors or face a jury.
Arondez Carter, 19, faced a Detroit judge once again Thursday to discuss a possible plea deal after being charged with six counts, including first-degree murder, felony murder and arson, for the brutal attack of 29-year-old Detroit firefighter Jack Wiley Jr. inside his home on the city's west side last August. Jack was killed 10 days before his 30th birthday.
"His mother can't cry anymore. She is running out of tears. She's hurting so bad," said Verdine Day of the Detroit Firefighters Association Local 344.
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Facing the same charges is 19-year-old Shomari Walker. Both of them were just 18 years old, when prosecutors say they robbed, tortured and killed Wiley, then torched what they stole to hide the evidence. Family and friends say Wiley had been trying to help Carter.
"Jack helped him while he was a squatter across the street, gave him an opportunity to try to make money and he could've still been doing that," Day said.
Carter faces an automatic sentence of life without the possibility of parole if convicted of first-degree murder. But prosecutors are offering a plea of 33 to 60 years, plus two years for felony firearm.
"It was my understanding that Mr. Carter is rejecting the offer. If he knows today he's not going to take the offer why waste the court and the family's time to come back," the prosecutor said.
"I understand that every time the family comes here, in some ways it is re-traumatizing them, but the reality is that this is a 19-year-old man," the judge said.
The judge allowed Carter to take the weekend and speak with his family. If he takes the deal, he would be eligible for parole in his early 50s.
"You made a grown-up decision, get a grown-up sentence," Day said.
"You didn't take pity on him so why should I take pity on you? No. He deserves every year he ends up sitting in prison. Every year and some," said Wiley's God sister, MaLinda Hall.
Carter has until Monday to make a decision.