Dorr Township man sent to prison for 55 years for murdering three people

By: 
Daniel Pepper Staff Writer

A Dorr Township man was sentenced to at least 55 years in state prison for murdering his girlfriend and her two children, ages 10 and 12.

Debra Sheppard, 33, and her children Emma Rose McComber, 12, and Corey LaValley Jr., 10, were found shot dead after a fire in the trailer they shared with Corey Lee LaValley, 33.

Judge Margaret Zuzich Bakker sentenced LaValley Monday, Feb. 29.

The judge said the sentence of 55 years to 82 years and seven months, which was negotiated between the Allegan County prosecutor’s office and LaValley’s lawyer as part of what’s called a Cobb’s Agreement, was very deserved because of the severity and horror of LaValley’s crime. The three victims were shot in three separate bedrooms of the trailer with a single-shot shotgun.

Bakker said, “I hope and pray they were all asleep when they were murdered, because I can’t imagine the horror of being approached by someone who had loved you and cared for you, pointing a weapon at your face.”

LaValley, who said he couldn’t remember anything about the shootings or returning later to burn down the trailer, pleaded no contest to the crime in January. He later tried to withdraw that plea, but Bakker decided not to allow it.

At the hearing, LaValley said he was remorseful about the crime, arguing against contentions by the prosecution and judge that he had shown no remorse over the murders.

Contact Dan Pepper at dpepper@allegannews.com or at (269) 673-5534 or (269) 685-9571.

For full story, pick up a copy of the March 3 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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