Murder sentence reduced from life in prison under new effort to review crimes by young people

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — A man sentenced to life in prison without parole for murder could now be released in about another year.

On Friday, Pierce County Judge Stanley Rumbaugh resentenced Kimonti Carter for a 1997 murder he committed when he was an 18-year-old gang member.

Carter’s resentencing to roughly 23 years, including time already served, comes as courts are now following new laws and rulings to resentence young people who commit serious crimes when their brains are still in development.

The case is under appeal, so it’s possible the resentencing won’t be the final word.

Carter is the subject of a film about reforming the criminal justice system and the founder of a prisoner-led higher education program.

In court, he apologized to the family of the young man he murdered, Corey Pittman.

“I know the words that I can say will never be able to replace his life, but I want them to know I’m doing everything I can to help people make better choices,” Carter said.

Pittman was home from college for the summer when Carter mistook him for a member of a rival gang during a drive-by shooting.

Pittman’s family asked the judge to maintain the life sentence.

His sister rejected the idea that Carter’s crime was a product of the environment where he grew up.

“We were in the same place, and we made it,” she said.

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