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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

US Supreme Court won't hear appeal of man who killed Ball State student in 1994

Larry Newton Jr.'s attorneys have argued the life sentence is unconstitutional because he was 17 when the shooting happened.
Credit: Delaware County Jail
Larry Newton, Jr.

MUNCIE, Ind. — The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear the appeal of a man convicted of killing a Ball State University student 27 years ago. Larry Newton Jr. has used up his appeals process and will have to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Attorneys for Newton have argued his life sentence is unconstitutional because was 17 when the shooting happened in 1994. Newton pleaded guilty to fatally shooting 19-year-old Christopher Coyle of Pendleton during an attempted robbery near the Muncie campus. 

"The Defendant’s arguments are a slap in the face to the victim and his family. We must remember that Christopher Coyle was a son, a brother, and a friend. He was a kind and caring person. The manner in which the Defendant selected his victim is akin to a predator hunting its prey in the wild," said Eric Hoffman, prosecuting attorney. "The Defendant is a violent and dangerous murderer and the streets of this community are much safer with him behind bars."

Newton pleaded guilty in exchange for prosecutors dropping their death penalty request.

One of Newton's accomplices was also sentenced to life in prison, while another received a 60-year sentence.