Man sentenced in 1977 Michigan cold case - WNEM TV 5

Man sentenced in 1977 Michigan cold case

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Robert Stasiak (Source: CBS) Robert Stasiak (Source: CBS)
CBS -

A 40-year-old cold case homicide is now closed.

Raymond Richmond was sentenced to 12 to 18 years in prison. He has already served 503 days. He pleaded guilty in July to killing his cousin Robert Stasiak.

Stasiak's 1977 death was initially ruled a suicide but investigators here re-opened this case in 2015. Prosecutors say this is one of the oldest cold case convictions in the state of Michigan.

"This has been with them every day for the last forty years," said Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz. "It's wonderful to see that they have some closure here."

Prosecutors say Richmond killed Stasiak and left him on the floor of his parents Edwardsburg home.

Stasiak's wife thanked investigators for finding enough evidence to charge Richmond.

"You were the first person to truly listen to our concerns and try to find the answers that we deserve," she said.

Richmond told the court he was sorry for what he did, admitting to committing a careless act and killing someone who was family and one of his closest friends.

"I've been an attorney 43 years and today is probably the saddest day of my practice because of the loss of the family and the profound negative effect it had on my client," said Richmond's attorney Paul Jancha.

Stasiak's daughter was just two-years-old when her father died.

She says she never believed he would've committed suicide.

Edwardsburg Police Chief Timothy Kozal says this case is an example of why thousands of unsolved Michigan homicides should be re-visited.

"Sometimes they can be solved and sometimes not, but I do think everything should be taken a look at because you still have those victims who want to have answers," he said.

Students at Southwestern Michigan College also worked on this case as part of a program called seeking justice.

Prosecutors say the goal is to roll that program out statewide in the near future.

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