NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A federal judge on Friday ruled that Travion Blount will be resentenced because his previous sentences amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.
Blount was 15 when he and two 18-year-olds robbed people at a party in Norfolk in 2006. The older teens pleaded guilty and received 10- and 13-year sentences. Blount went to trial and got six life terms plus 118 years. He was convicted of 12 counts of abduction with intent to extort money, 10 counts of robbery, 24 counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and two counts of attempted robbery.
Former Gov. Bob McDonnell reduced the sentence to 40 years on his last day in office, but a federal judge voided the commutation saying McDonnell overstepped his authority.
Blount sought a reduction to 10 to 20 years. He wanted to reject McDonnell’s order so he could challenge the original sentence in federal court, but the Virginia Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the sentence reduction.
Attorneys filed a petition last March, arguing that Blount’s sentence of six life terms plus 118 years is an unreasonable application of federal law under the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution and the Supreme Court’s finding in Graham v. Florida. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that a sentence of life without parole for a juvenile who did not commit homicide is unconstitutional.
Blount cannot be resentenced to life without the possibility of parole. It’s not clear when the new sentencing hearing will happen.
Blount’s attorney tells 10 On Your Side he would like his client moved to a facility closer to home and be released in the next few years.