EASTON, Pa. - The Easton man sentenced to life in prison without the chance for parole when he was just 14 years old has agreed to a new prison term.
Qu'eed Batts has agreed to serve 30 years to life in prison for the 2006 gang-related murder of Clarence Edwards. As part of a reported gang initiation, Batts fatally shot the teenager and injured another as they stood on a front porch in Easton.
A Northampton County jury found Batts guilty of first-degree murder and attempted homicide and was sentenced to life in prison. The now 26-year-old has been at the forefront of debates over whether a juvenile could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled a juvenile could not face such a sentence, and the state Supreme Court has twice overturned a life without parole sentence.
Batts' defense attorney, Phil Lauer, and the prosecution on Thursday agreed to the sentence on the murder charge as well as a 10- to 20-year sentence on the attempted homicide charge. But they disagree on whether Batts will retain his appeal rights.
Lauer argues his client should be able to appeal the sentence, while prosecutors argue he should either take the offer or leave it.
Northampton County Judge Michael Koury must also decide whether Batts will serve the sentences at the same time or consecutively. Batts was in the courtroom Thursday.
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