Four-time killer gets more sentences in western Michigan

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) - A four-time killer already serving life in prison was sentenced Monday for the deaths of his wife and mother-in-law in western Michigan - a case from 1989 that was revived when he was captured for two other homicides last year.

Leon Means, 62, was silent in Muskegon County court as Judge Timothy Hicks sentenced him to at least 20 years in prison for the fatal stabbings of Cynthia Herrera Means and her mother, Linda Herrera.

"There really are no words adequate to describe the unspeakable horror that you brought into their lives and the unspeakable evil that somehow lies within you," the judge said.

Means pleaded no contest to second-degree murder. He's already serving a life sentence after pleading no contest to killing Anna Lawson and Judy Bushman 13 months ago in Muskegon Heights, about 40 miles northwest of Grand Rapids.

Means was charged with the deaths of his wife and mother-in-law after he was arrested in the Lawson and Bushman slayings.

Cynthia Means and Herrera were killed in 1989 after Leon Means escaped from prison. He was charged, but the case was dropped after he was sentenced to 15 years to 50 years in prison for the escape.

Prosecutor D.J. Hilson said he doesn't know why; he wasn't in office at that time.

Celestino Herrera discovered the bodies of his sister and mother, the Muskegon Chronicle reported.

"You left me with nothing," Herrera told Means in court. "You know the saying, 'Only God can judge you?' Well, He can judge you after we get done here today."

Published: Wed, Dec 02, 2015


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