Michael Bourgeois was sentenced to life in prison without the parole for the murders of his adoptive parents in 2001. According to documents Michael Bourgeois along with Landon May, Steven Estes and Drenea Rodriguez conspired to kill the couple. Landon May and Michael Bourgeois went to the home and tied the couple up then proceeded to torture them for house.
The female victim was shot, stabbed, had a television set dropped on her head and was finally suffocated. The male victim was shot, stabbed and strangled to death. The group was soon arrested and Landon May was sentenced to death. Steven Estes was sentenced to 17 to 35 years in prison, Drenea Rodriguez was sentenced to life and Michael Bourgeois who was seventeen years old was sentenced to life in prison. Due to changes in juvenile sentencing laws the teen killer was resentenced to eighty years in prison and will be eligible for parole when he reaches ninety seven years old
Michael Bourgeois 2019 Information
Date of Birth: 04/14/1984
Height: 5′ 04″
Current Location: MAHANOY
Permanent Location: MAHANOY
Committing County: LANCASTER
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A prison inmate who was 17 years old when he tortured and killed his adoptive parents in Lancaster County has been re-sentenced, but he still won’t have a chance of parole unless he lives to the age of 97. Michael Bourgeois, now 33, will serve 80 years to life for the 2001 murders of Lucy and Terry Smith at their Ephrata home, the district attorney’s office said.
Bourgeois, who was previously serving consecutive life terms, was in court for re-sentencing Friday because of a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said mandatory life sentences for juveniles are cruel and unusual punishment. Bourgeois and a co-defendant, Landon May, bound and beat the Smiths in their home for hours before shooting them to death.
In a 2002 interview with prosecutors, Bourgeois said he killed his parents because he “wanted to get rid of them.” Lucy Smith was a principal at Elizabeth Martin Elementary in the School District of Lancaster. The district attorney’s office said Bourgeois testified for about an hour on Friday, saying he didn’t know right from wrong and was “coerced” by May and others he was hanging with around at the time.
On cross-examination, he admitted he knew killing someone and committing other crimes were wrong. Judge David Ashworth, while ordering the sentence, said he considered Bourgeois’ age but also his “chilling, depraved and heinous acts.” Bourgeois will get credit for the prison time he’s served. The district attorney’s office said he wouldn’t be eligible for a parole hearing for about 64 years.
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A Lancaster County man who was 17 when he participated in the torture-murders of his adoptive mother and stepfather had his 80-year-to-life prison sentence upheld Friday by a state appeals court.
The Superior Court panel rejected Michael Lee Bourgeois’ claim that county Judge David Ashworth didn’t fully consider his “distinct youthful attributes” when he resentenced Bourgeois in October 2017.
Bourgeois initially was sentenced to life in prison for the September 2001 slayings of Terry and Lucy Smith in the family’s home. He pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder. His co-defendant, Landon May, was convicted by a jury and receive two death sentences.
Bourgeois had to be resentenced because of a 2012 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that bans automatic life without parole sentences for juvenile killers.
In the state court opinion denying Bourgeois’ appeal, Judge Carolyn H. Nichols noted that prosecutors wanted Ashworth to resentence Bourgeois to 100 years-to-life behind bars. She rejected Bourgeois’ argument Ashworth imposed an illegal de facto life prison term.
Nichols cited Ashworth’s observation that each of the murders “was carried out in a dispassionate and calculated manner, each victim was tortured and mutilated, and each murder showed an exceptionally callous disregard for human suffering.”
A forensic pathologist concluded Terry Smith had been stabbed 47 times, his neck was slashed at least five times, he was shot five times and then was asphyxiated. Lucy Smith was cut 51 times, was shot in the head, was beaten with a hammer and was finally smothered, the pathologist concluded.
Terry Smith was the president of a local company. Lucy Smith was an elementary school principal.
Bourgeois turns 35 next week. In his failed appeal he complained that Ashworth’s sentence will prevent him from becoming eligible for parole until he’s 97. That, he said, is nearly 20 years past the average life expectancy for a man in Pennsylvania.
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