A Michigan man who had received a commutation of his drug-related prison sentence from Obama in November was executed by masked gunmen inside the halfway house where he was staying.
According to witness reports of others inside the house, two men wearing masks entered Bannum Place in Saginaw, Michigan on Monday night with the clear intention of killing a specific individual. That person was Demarlon Thomas, a 31-year-old former Saginaw gang member. Approximately two dozen people were inside the home at the time of the murder.
One of the gunmen held the group at gunpoint while the second sought out and located the victim and subsequently executed him. Michigan State Police 1st Lt. David Kaiser said Thomas was shot multiple times by one of the gunmen in the premeditated and planned attack. He told the Saginaw News, “One person watched over a group of them while another subject located the victim and executed him. They were looking for this person.”
Kaiser said, “This was a very targeted individual, for whatever reason. The people that shot this man knew who they were looking for and wanted him deceased.”
Thomas was shot in the head and at several other points and was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was injured and no one has been arrested.
Thomas was originally sentenced to 19 years in prison in 2008 on a cocaine charge. With the Obama commutation his sentence would have expired in March. He had been a member of the “Sunny Side Gang” in Saginaw and had been picked up in the conduct of “Operation Sunset, a federal investigation which targeted and ultimately eradicated the gang.
Thomas’ sentence commutation was part of a group of 79 that was announced on November 22nd as part of Obama’s second term effort to correct his perceived injustices in sentencing brought about by mandatory minimum sentencing requirements. It was his view that individuals convicted of drug offenses such as Thomas were receiving excessive sentences.
It is now clear that there was more to the story of Mr. Thomas than met the eye. Someone very much wanted him dead. Whether it was for something that happened prior to his being released to the halfway house or something that happened in the days since will likely never be known. It’s the thought that counts, Obama.
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