HOLLAND – A man convicted of murdering an employee of the Pereddies restaurant in the Netherlands in 1997 is appealing his conviction for the second time.
Juan Nunez, 40, shot dead Scott Anderson, 22, in a robbery that went wrong at the restaurant. Nunez was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, as the law required. Nunez was 16 when he committed the murder, making him the only “juvenile in life” in Ottawa County, someone who was sentenced to life in prison as a child.
Following a 2016 United States Supreme Court ruling that determined that an automatic and mandatory life sentence was unfair for accused minors, Nunez was granted a new sentence hearing.
Upon re-conviction in 2019, Ottawa County Judge Jon Hulsing heard testimony about the original crime, as well as information about Nunez’s behavior while incarcerated. The judge determined that Nunez should not be released from prison and sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Nunez’s record of behavior during his detention at the Michigan Department of Corrections was an important consideration in his initial sentencing hearing. Nunez was cited for 18 major offenses and eight minor offenses while in prison during his incarceration. These offenses include the theft of tennis shoes from other detainees in the laundry and the theft of 30 oranges to create “sweet potato juice,” which is an alcoholic fermented fruit juice. He was also caught in possession of a shiv, or an informal sharp weapon.
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Nunez then appealed that sentencing decision to the Michigan Court of Appeals, which the COA rejected last year. After lose the callNunez is now seeking to appeal the conviction to the Michigan Supreme Court.
Earlier this week, the Michigan Supreme Court ordered the temporary stay of Nunez’s appeal due to the upcoming appeal of another case that “may resolve an issue raised in this application.”
If the Michigan Supreme Court agrees to hear Nunez’s re-conviction appeal, it will not be scheduled until the other relevant case is decided.