Missouri Supreme Court upholds life sentences for juvenile

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 | 6:00 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld the life sentence of an inmate convicted of killing a St. Louis police officer when he was 15 years old.

Antonio Andrews was charged as an adult and convicted of first-degree murder for the 2007 shooting death of Officer Norvelle Brown.

Andrews appealed the sentence of life in prison without parole, which was the only possible punishment for a juvenile in such a case under Missouri law. He argued the mandatory sentence is unconstitutional because it means age and other factors cannot be considered.

The appeal also challenged Missouri's system for determining whether juveniles should be tried as an adult.

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the arguments in a 4-3 decision and upheld the sentence.

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