Victim's family 'disappointed' in killer's clemency

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Relatives of a Grand Rapids nursing student killed for her car more than 30 years ago were "surprised and disappointed" after Gov. Rick Snyder commuted the sentence of one her killers.

Patricia Trevino, now 58, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for her role in killing 23-year-old Debra Saunders in February 1980.

Now, she will be eligible for parole.

Trevino's then-boyfriend, David Harris, will continue serving life in prison without parole.

Their victim's sister said prison is where both should stay.

"We have had, I don't know if comfort is the right word, in knowing that both (Trevino) and David Harris have been in prison and would remain in prison for the rest of their lives without the chance of parole," Saunders' sister, Bonnie Whetstone, said on Monday. "We felt comforted by that."

Trevino was among the 61 convicted criminals granted clemency by Snyder on Friday. For some, it means their record is cleared; for others, like Trevino, it means possible freedom.

Debra Saunders was a 1974 Lee High School graduate headed to nursing school. But in February 1980, she was kidnapped apparently on her way to work at an Eastown bar.

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