Sentencing hearing today for former Marine convicted of shooting at the Pentagon
Ex-Marine could get up to 25 years in prison
3:24 AM, Jan 11, 2013
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -
A schizophrenic ex-Marine convicted of shooting at the Pentagon and other military targets is slated to learn whether he will spend the next 25 years in prison.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled Friday for 25-year-old Yonathan Melaku of Alexandria. He pleaded guilty last year to a series of shootings in 2010, including at the Marine Corps museum in Quantico and military recruiting stations. No one was injured.
The plea deal calls for a non-negotiable 25-year sentence. But Melaku subsequently obtained new lawyers, and they uncovered evidence Melaku is mentally ill. Government doctors have now also diagnosed him as schizophrenic.
Melaku's new lawyers say that under the circumstances, the judge should review whether the plea and sentence are appropriate. Prosecutors want to impose the 25-year sentence.