StorySubmitted by: Marla Thompson

Utica (WSYR-TV) – A man convicted of killing a Syracuse Police officer could be released from prison in less than 10 years after a Federal judge’s ruling in Utica on Tuesday.

Under the terms of his conviction for killing Syracuse Police officer Wallie Howard in 1990, Robert “Bam Bam” Lawrence would have spent his life behind bars – without the possibility of parole.

The judge reduced his sentence to 31 years and five months.

Lawrence could be eligible for parole in 2020 at the earliest.

However, his sentence on a New York State conviction remains in place – a sentence of 30 years to life in prison.

Lawrence was 16 years old when he was sentenced.

A Federal judge revisited Lawrence’s sentence after the Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences for teenage killers may be considered cruel and unusual punishment.



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