Michael Lehman was arrested when he was 14 years and convicted of second degree murder (“felony murder”), which in Pennsylvania at the time carried a mandatory sentence of life without parole – even at his age. Michael and some other boys ran away from the group home where they were staying in June 1988. They returned on June 18 with an adult they had met a day or two earlier. Michael thought they were going to rob the home’s petty cash. He was given a steak knife and told to sit in the upstairs hallway to make sure no one emerged from their rooms.
Downstairs some of the other boys and the adult stabbed to death counselor Kwame Brown, 22. Michael was convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole.