A judge has ruled out sentencing a Newton teen to life without parole for his involvement in the shooting death of a Waltham man.
Former Newton North student Benjamin Peirce, 19, is facing murder charges for his role in the killing of Adam Coveney in the fall of 2010. Jury selection for his trial is set to begin on Jan. 14, 2013.
Middlesex Superior Court Judge Kathe Tuttman, in a written ruling dated Nov. 7, ruled that only life in prison with the possibility of parole can be imposed on Peirce, if he is convicted of murder.
Massachusetts state law requires anybody convicted of first degree murder receive a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. However, a federal Supreme Court ruling requires convicts be 18 at the time of crime to receive such a sentence. Peirce was 17 at the time of the murder.
Co-defendant and Newton North graduate Shaquan Jacobs has already been sentenced to life in prison with the chance for parole after 15 years. Daniel Louis, of West Roxbury, was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
For a full copy of the opinion, click on the PDF in the photo box above.