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Woman sentenced for 2007 murder after retrial

Posted at 5:37 PM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 17:37:53-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A woman twice convicted of murdering her landlord will spend at least 25 years in prison.

Robin Root, 56, was sentenced Wednesday after being convicted of the 2007 murder of Janna Kelly.  She appealed a 2015 conviction of first-degree murder and was granted a retrial by the Michigan Court of Appeals. The court ruled that the trial court wrongly denied Root’s motion to suppress parts of an April 2015 videotaped statement to police “that were obtained in violation of her constitutional rights.”

Janna Kelly

Janna Kelly (Undated courtesy photo)

Root was found guilty in September of second-degree murder.  A judge sentenced her Wednesday to between 25 and 50 years in prison.

The ruling likely brings an end to a decade-long ordeal for Kelly’s family.  She disappeared from her Grand Rapids home Dec. 4, 2007.  Her body was found March 13, 2008, in Grand Haven Township, according to Ottawa County officials.

DNA evidence collected in 2007 implicated Root, but Grand Rapids Police didn’t submit the evidence to the state crime lab.

Ottawa County detectives found the evidence in 2014 and submitted it.