October 23, 2020

Teen, now a man, who killed family with baseball bats will get new sentence

A Gulf Coast man who killed his family with baseball bats in 1994 when he was 16 will be resentenced soon after a Mississippi Court of Appeals ruling.

Stephen Virgil McGilberry is nearly 40 years old, has spend two decades in prison for murdering his mother, stepfather, half-sister and the half-sisters 3-year-old son.

McGilberry was angry, The Sun Herald reported, because his parents had grounded him and taken away his use of the family car.

McGilberry’s pending new sentencing would be his fourth.

He was originally sentenced to the death penalty, but that was overturned with the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the death penalty for people under the age of 18 was unconstitutional. McGilberry was resentenced to four consecutive life terms without parole.

That was also changed when the federal high court ruled in 2012 that anyone under 18 could not be subject to automatic life sentences without parole.

McGilberry argued in 2017 that his new sentence should offer the possibility of parole. Instead Circuit Court Judge Robert Krebs sentenced him to life without parole.

The Mississippi Court of Appeals, however, ruled that Krebs did not have the authority to do so, only a jury did, thus the order to resentence McGilberry again.