Former tenant sentenced for 2007 murder of Janna Kelly

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Nearly 11 years after the murder of a  Grand Rapids businesswoman, her killer will learn her punishment.  

Robin  Root is expected in Kent County Circuit Court Wednesday afternoon,  where she will be sentenced for the December 2007 murder of her  landlord, Janna Kelly.

Kelly’s daughter is expected to address Judge Joe Rossi before he issues Root’s punishment. 

A  jury last month found Root guilty of second-degree murder after hearing  testimony from a neighbor and friend who said he witnessed a volitale  argument between Root and Kelly shortly before Kelly’s disappearance. 

This  was the second time the case has gone to trial. Root was previously  sentenced to life in prison without parole for the crime, but a state  appeals court threw out her first-degree murder conviction, saying her  statements to detectives were inadmissible at trial because police  didn’t read Root her Miranda Rights before she confessed.

Kelly disappeared on Dec. 4, 2007. Her burned body was found in an Ottawa County blueberry field in March 2008.

DNA evidence that went untested for years led police to Root in July 2014.

In  a taped interview on April 22, 2015, Root told officers she pushed  Kelly during an argument over back rent. Root said Kelly, who was her  landlady, was knocked unconscious. 

Root told police she loaded  Kelly into the trunk of her car and left her there overnight. Root said  when she returned the next day, Kelly was dead. 

Police said Root then dumped Kelly’s body in the blueberry field and set it on fire.

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