Join Fox News for access to this content

Plus special access to select articles and other premium content with your account – free of charge.

Please enter a valid email address.

By entering your email and pushing continue, you are agreeing to Fox News’ Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which includes our Notice of Financial Incentive. To access the content, check your email and follow the instructions provided.

Having trouble? Click here.

A Michigan man convicted of murder in the drowning deaths of his four children is seeking clemency, insisting that a leg cramp caused him to hit the gas pedal and plunge his vehicle into the Detroit River.

Lawrence DeLisle, 63, was convicted in 1990 and sentenced to five life sentences without parole for first-degree murder and attempted murder in the Aug. 3, 1989 deaths of 8-year-old Bryan Delisle, 4-year-old Melissa Delisle, 2-year-old Kathryn Delisle and 8-month-old Emily Delisle, according to Fox 2 Detroit.

After crashing through a road barrier and driving their car into the river, DeLisle and his wife were able to escape – but all four children drowned. Suzanne DeLisle has claimed she tried and failed to grab the steering wheel from her husband. 

She divorced him and remarried soon after his trial. 

MICHIGAN SCHOOL SHOOTER’S DAD JAMES CRUMBLEY ACCUSED OF THREATENING PROSECUTOR IN JAIL CALLS

DeLisle was initially viewed as a victim in the public eye. However, police determined that he had never applied pressure to his brakes before his car hit the water. In a videotaped interview with Michigan State Police, the father-of-four said he “just couldn’t” apply the brakes as the vehicle headed toward the river. 

“I didn’t want to. I don’t know why,” he told police, according to the Detroit Free Press. “I didn’t mean to hurt my babies … I didn’t even realize they were in the car. My mind just went blank.”

Only Gov. Gretchen Whitmer can shorten DeLisle’s prison term. He has already served 35 years behind bars and has not had any conduct issues, state Corrections Department spokesman Kyle Kaminski told The Associated Press. Michigan’s Parole Board held a hearing on Thursday to hear DeLisle’s case and make a recommendation. 

DeLisle’s attorneys, who could not immediately be reached for comment, have argued that their client’s confession was coerced and that the national media attention the case received prevented him from getting a fair trial. 

SOUTH CAROLINA MAN FOUND DEAD AFTER ALLEGEDLY KILLING ESTRANGED WIFE, HER FRIEND

Lawrence DeLisle's family

Judge Robert Colombo Jr., the judge who presided over DeLisle’s original case, told Fox 2 Detroit that the jury made the right decision the first time. 

“He was there the day before casing the area planning the event,” Colombo said. “He had a difficult job, he wasn’t doing well. His father had committed suicide in the same vehicle. And I had suppressed some evidence where he tried to do the same thing years earlier, where he tried to blow up the house. There was a leak in the dryer and he placed a candle by it.” 

“Absolutely not,” Colombo answered when asked if DeLisle deserved clemency, Fox 2 reported. “Basically, he’s a mass murderer.” 

MICHIGAN TEACHER FIRED AFTER PARENT EXPOSES HER CREATIVE SIDE HUSTLE

Lawrence Delisle

Meanwhile, the Innocence Clinic at the University of Michigan’s law school and Northwestern University’s law school are supporting DeLisle, saying the crash was an accident. “He’s not a danger to anyone, and there’s no reason to keep him in prison,” retired attorney Peter Van Hoek, who was involved in earlier appeals, told The Associated Press. 

 

DeLisle appealed his mandatory life sentence and lost in 1993, Fox 2 Detroit reported. 

Parole board member Anthony King, who led Thursday’s hearing, told The Associated Press that it was “hard to believe” that DeLisle did not slam on the brakes after his vehicle jerked forward.

Share.

Leave A Reply

© 2024 Time Bulletin. All Rights Reserved.