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'Juvenile Lifer' convicted in Cumberland Co. boy's murder won't walk free

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A man convicted of murdering an 11-year-old Cumberland County boy in October 1981 was re-sentenced today in Cumberland County Court.

John Waters was 16 at the time of the crime and was sentenced to life in prison in 1983. His re-sentencing comes after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling explaining that juveniles cannot be committed to mandatory life sentences.

Cumberland County Judge Albert Masland ruled Waters would not walk free today and will be eligible for parole in three years.

The family of Steven Turner released a statement, saying:

Judge Albert Masland has made a decision. He has charged Waters’ with the 35 to Life with parole minimum for 1st degree murder and changed the involuntary sexual deviant intercourse charge (4-10 years) to be served consecutively (back to back) rather than concurrently (at the same time). This has given John Waters a final minimum sentence of 39 years at which point he is eligible for parole. Since has currently already served 36 years, this means that in 3 years Waters will face the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Parole Board, comprised of 9 Governor-appointed members, who will decide his eligibility for parole at that time.
We are disappointed and in disbelief at the Judge’s minimal consideration of the pure brutality of the crime and impact it continues to have on the community. Justice was not served today, it was stolen. Stolen from the community, from our family, and from Steven.
Please stay tuned to our page for continued updates and information as we begin preparing to face the Parole Board in 3 years. In the upcoming days, we will be sharing more information regarding the case, including our victim impact statements, John Waters’ mitigation letter, and the original coroner’s report, all of which are public record. We thank you for your continued support. Please watch for us on CBS 21 tonight for more information as well.


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