Michael Lawrence sentenced for shooting death of 6-year-old Layl - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Michael Lawrence sentenced for shooting death of 6-year-old Layla Jones

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(02/27/14) - A Mid-Michigan man will spend the rest of his life in prison for the murder of a 6-year-old girl in Saginaw.

Michael Lawrence was sentenced to life without parole at the Saginaw County Court House.

"Your senseless and cowardly acts of you and your co defendants ripped the heart out of this community," said Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson.

It happened in August 2012, when 6-year-old Layla Jones was shot and killed outside a home in Saginaw during a family get together.

Three men have been sentenced to prison for her death, including Lawrence. A fourth was charged as an accessory.

Total, Lawrence was convicted of 20 felonies.

Layla's mother was not in the court room on Thursday.

The judge gave Lawrence a chance to speak before his sentencing. He apologized to Layla's mother for what she is going through, but he maintains that he is not guilty.

"I'm still standing down that I did not shoot her daughter. I want her to know that I don't think justice is being served by sending a man to prison for not even harming her daughter. At the end of the day, I feel like only God can judge me. There's only one God and that's it," he said.

Thursday's sentencing means all three men convicted of killing Layla Jones are now in prison.

He'll be in prison for life, but he's not done in the court room.

He's also facing a murder charge for his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child, Angelica Olivarez.

She was found strangled to death 8 months after Jones' murder - while Lawrence was on the run in April 2013.

Angelica's mother, Theresa Medel, watched his sentencing.

"Justice is being served for Layla," she said.

Medel is still waiting for her daughter's trial to begin.

"Like Michael said in his thing, God can judge, he's the only one that's going to judge," she said. "I have faith in that that's why he got exactly what he deserved and I feel he will too when my daughter's trial comes."

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