Judge cuts life sentence to 50 years in 1994 St. Paul firebombing that killed 5 children


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MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge has cut the sentence of a man sent to prison for life for the 1994 firebombing of a St. Paul home that killed five children.

Judge Michael Davis reduced the term for Robert James "Duddy" Jefferson to 50 years in response to a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling barring mandatory life sentences for juveniles.

Jefferson was 16 at the time of the firebombing, which authorities say targeted Andre Coppage, whom gang members suspected of cooperating with police. The fire killed five of his siblings, ages 2-11.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (http://bit.ly/1zoayu3 ) Davis cited the Supreme Court ruling and Jefferson's good conduct in prison in cutting his sentence Thursday.

Jefferson, who says he's innocent, will likely be in his early 60s when he's eligible for release.

Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com

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