COAL TOWNSHIP, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A man convicted of a brutal murder in 1993 and sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole walked out of prison in Northumberland County a free man Friday morning.
Norman Gundrum was 16 years old when he was convicted of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of 18-year-old Bobby Coup in Milton in 1993. Prosecutors say Coup was stabbed more than 60 times. Jailed that year, now 42-year-old Norman Gundrum Junior has been locked up for 25 years.
In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a mandatory life sentence without parole for juveniles convicted of murder was unconstitutional. In 2016, the court made the ruling retroactive and allowed Gundrum to appeal his sentence.
Eyewitness News was outside SCI Coal Township this morning as Gundrum was released.
“It’s been over 26 years, I’m thankful for all the people that cared and been there,” Gundrum said upon release.
Gundrum had argued at trial that he was being physically abused by Coup and other young men on the night of the killing and that he did not remember killing Coup. He was re-sentenced last October to time served and given early release.
“I’m just thankful and thank God for everything he’s done. Just for the opportunity now. I just want to help as many people as I can and give back,” Gundrum said.
Gundrum is one of around 2000 other inmates who committed murders as juveniles and had the chance to seek parole or a new sentence.
“Life without parole for juveniles is just such an injustice,” said Gundrum’s attorney, Joe D’Andrea. “It’s substantially been deemed unconstitutional when Norm is a living truth to why he should be out.”
Jean Reed of Lewisburg came to greet Gundrum. She met him years ago and befriended him.
“He has a wonderful support system, he really does,” Reed said. “People have been awesome just helping us.”
Coup’s mother sent a letter to the court in October saying she felt that Gundrum had served enough time and should be released. We could not reach Coup’s family members for comment.