BOSTON — The highest court in Massachusetts has granted a new sentencing hearing to a Lynn man convicted of participating in a murder when he was 16.
The Supreme Judicial Court tossed out the life sentence given to Kevin Keo on Tuesday, citing its ruling last month that sentencing juveniles convicted of murder to life without parole is unconstitutional. Under current state law, teens as young as 14 can be tried as adults for first-degree murder.
Keo was convicted in a 2007 killing.
He argued in an appeal his trial lawyer was ineffective. He also cited a 2012 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court finding mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
The SJC upheld Keo’s conviction, but ordered a new sentencing hearing.