Judge orders release of Miami man 44 years after he was sentenced to life in prison as a teen

A Miami man sentenced to life in prison as a juvenile in the slaying of an ice cream vendor's wife has been freed after serving 44 years in prison.

Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Richard Hersch on Friday ordered the release of 60-year-old Prince Johnson after both the state attorney and Johnson's public defender had argued the life sentence was unlawful.

Landmark rulings by the U.S. and Florida Supreme Courts have required new sentencing hearings for juveniles given life terms. Johnson was a minor when he was tried and sentenced as an adult in 1971.

A state attorney's office spokesman was quoted by The Miami Herald (http://hrld.us/1emwuAa ) as saying that at the time, prosecutors determined Johnson participated in a robbery that led to the fatal shooting of Marta Roman in her husband's ice cream truck.


Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com