3 northern Indiana teenagers appeal murder convictions in death of accomplice during break-in

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GOSHEN, Indiana — Three northern Indiana teenagers are appealing their sentences of 50 or more years in prison on murder convictions in a case in which an accomplice was fatally shot by a homeowner during a break-in.

Blake Layman, Anthony Sharp and Levi Sparks are asking the Indiana Court of Appeals to throw out their convictions or reduce their sentences.

The Elkhart Truth reports (http://bit.ly/1lgtgJP ) the men argue that the state's mandatory minimum sentence of 45 years is cruel and unusual punishment for someone of their age, among other things.

Layman was 17, Sharp was 19 and Sparks was 18 at the time of their sentencing last year.

A fourth defendant, then-17-year-old Jose Quiroz, can't appeal his 45-year sentence under terms of an agreement with prosecutors.

Information from: The Elkhart Truth, http://www.elkharttruth.com

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