Convicted Austin murderer’s sentence tossed out

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has granted a new sentence for convicted killer Terrell Maxwell.

Maxwell is currently serving a life sentence without parole for a 2007 shooting when he was 17 years old.

Austin Police found the victim, Fernando Santander, dead in a car on Rutland Drive with the car running. Three months later, in February 2008, a tip lead to the arrest of Maxwell and two accomplices. Police at the time believed that the three were trying to rob the victim and Maxwell killed him.

In the appeals ruling the court cited a recent Supreme Court decision that life without parole for a defendant who was under the age of 18 at the time of the crime violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

The Supreme court case that the Texas appeals court based their decision on– Miller v. Alabama–came down in 2012, after after Maxwell’s conviction.

The court granted Maxwell a new sentencing proceeding.

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