Dakotah Eliason Teen Killer – Kills Sleeping Grandfather

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Dakotah Eliason was fifteen years old when he shot his Grandfather who was sleeping. According to court documents Dakotah Eliason would grab a gun, walk over to his Grandfather who was sleeping on the couch. According to family friends Dakotah was dealing with a deep depression having lost a number of crucial people in a short time span. This teen killer would be sentenced to life in prison however it would later be changed to 37 to 60 years in prison making him eligible for parole in 2047

Dakotah Eliason 2020 Information

Dakotah Eliason 2020 photos

Current Status:Prisoner

Earliest Release Date:03/05/2047

Assigned Location:Carson City Correctional Facility

Maximum Discharge Date:03/05/2072

Security Level:II

Dakotah Eliason Other News

One of the youngest people convicted of murder in Berrien County will be eligible for parole. Dakotah Eliason was re-sentenced Friday to 37 to 60 years in prison for the murder of his step-grandfather, Jesse Miles, which he committed at the age of 14. He apologized in court in Niles Friday morning.

Hartz criticized the more than a dozen family members of Eliason who were in court in Niles Friday to support him, saying if half of them had been there for the teen when he needed it, Jesse Miles would probably still be alive.

Eliason was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2010, but a U.S. Supreme Court ruling tossing out that harsh of a penalty juvenile offenders offered him the chance for parole. He was 14 when he shot Miles as he slept on his couch following several hours of premeditation. Eliason’s defense attorney pointed out that he has been a model citizen while incarcerated, has earned his GED, and has taught GED classes for other inmates. He broke down in tears as his grandmother addressed the court in support of him. Other family members of the victim, including his daughter and son-in-law, argued that Eliason should remain in prison without the chance for parole.


 A young Michigan man serving a life sentence for killing his grandfather at age 14 will get a new sentence and a chance at freedom, a judge said Friday.

Dakotah Eliason, now 19, will be sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum of 60 years, Berrien County Judge Scott Schofield said.

“He’s pleased to have the opportunity to show he’s growing up and should have a chance for parole,” attorney Jonathan Sacks told the South Bend Tribune.

There is no dispute that Eliason shot his grandfather, Jesse Miles, 69, in Buchanan in 2010. He was convicted of first-degree murder and given a mandatory life sentence with no opportunity for parole.

But the U.S. Supreme Court subsequently said teens convicted of first-degree murder must be treated differently than adults. Judges now have more options after they hold a hearing that explores a convicted killer’s childhood, education and other factors.

Schofield said there’s potential for Eliason to be rehabilitated. He would be eligible for parole after serving 25 years.

“The developmental disparity between an adolescent male’s feeling brain and thinking brain can help explain defendant’s horrific choice to kill his grandfather,” the judge wrote. “This imbalance … disappears once a young man moves into his mid-20s and his thinking brain catches up.”

Eliason’s behavior during five years in prison “shows an increasing ability to make well-considered decisions,” Schofield said.

Berrien County Prosecutor Mike Sepic had argued for another no-parole sentence. Eliason will return to court on June 26.

“This is new territory and a matter of opinion,” Sepic said.


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Dakotah Eliason More News

In March 2010, 15-year-old Dakotah Eliason shot and killed his grandfather.  After the shooting, Eliason said that he had been contemplating homicide or suicide, and that he shot his grandfather our of “sadness” and “pent up anger,” but that he was not angry with his grandfather, but was instead angry with his parents.  The police officers who interviewed Eliason remarked on his composure immediately after the shooting and his apparent lack of remorse.  At trial, witnesses testified that Eliason had a friend who had recently committed suicide as well as a cousin who was killed in a car accident.  Eliason’s pet dog had also recently died.  Eliason was an honor-roll student who had no prior behavioral problems. 

Eliason was convicted by a jury of first-degree premeditated murder and felony firearm.  His attorney objected that mandatory life sentences for juveniles were unconstitutional, but the trial court disagreed, and sentenced Eliason to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder conviction


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