Judge: Life in Prison with Possibility for Parole for Drake Diner Murderer

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- A murderer who was 17 years old when he killed two people during a robbery of the Drake Diner in 1992 was resentenced Wednesday.

Joseph White Jr. was originally sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after being convicted of two counts of murder. Police say he killed Drake Diner employees Tim Burnett and Cara McGrane during a robbery on Nov. 29, 1992.

At the resentencing hearing Wednesday morning, the judge resentenced White to two life terms in prison with the possibility of parole and 25 years for the robbery. The sentences are to be served consecutively.

The sentencing means it's very likely White will never be freed from prison. The Iowa Board of Parole would have to approve his release.

Victim impact statements were given by the victims' families during the hearing. The sister of one of the victims Tim Burnett told the court, "I will never be the same. None of us will." She ended her statement by addressing White and saying, "I hope you rot in hell."

Burnett's twin Lyle Burnett also spoke at the hearing, saying half of him died when White killed his brother Tim.

A 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that banned life sentences without parole for offenders under the age of 18 meant White had the chance to be resentenced in the case.

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