Milagro Cunningham faces a retrial on attempted second degree murder charges

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - In 2005 Milagro Cunningham was arrested for the rape of an 8-year-old girl.

The victim was found in a Lake Worth Dumpster underneath rocks.

A Palm Beach County jury convicted Cunningham in 2009 of attempted second degree murder, kidnapping a child under the age of 13, three counts of sexual battery on a child under the age of 12 and aggravated child abuse.

The Fourth District Court of Appeals in West Palm Beach ruled Wednesday that Cunningham's convictions for the crimes stand; however four life sentences that he received in 2009 are being reversed based on the 2010 Supreme Court ruling Graham v. Florida.

The court ruled in Graham v. Florida that a juvenile offender cannot be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for non-homicide offenses.

Cunningham was 17 at the time the attack.

The Fourth District Court of Appeal says that the trial court committed a fundamental error by giving the then standard jury instruction for attempted manslaughter.

The Fourth DCA also said that Cunningham should be retried on attempted second degree murder charges.

The Appeals Court says that Cunningham should be re-sentenced on the sexual battery charges and aggravated child abuse charges for which he received life.

Cunningham is currently being held at the Martin Correctional Institution.




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