Appeals Court wants judge to explain Schwander sentence

Robert Schwander was sentenced to a minimum 40 years in prison, which is nearly double the highest maximum sentence under state guidelines.

The Michigan Court of Appeals is asking Thirteenth Circuit Judge Thomas Power to explain his sentencing of Robert Jensen Schwander.

Schwander was sentenced in 2011 to a minimum of 40 years in prison - nearly double the highest minimum sentence under state guidelines - for the murder of 16 year old Carly Lewis.

According to the court, "...Defendant's betrayal of the trust of the victim's family and his failure to summon medical help were objective and compelling reason sufficient to justify some degree of departure from the guidelines. However, the court did not articulate why these reasons justify imposing a minimum sentence nearly double the highest minimum sentence under the guidelines..."

Carly Lewis' body was found June 14, 2011 buried in a sand pile on property owned by the Traverse City Department of Public Works.

Investigators say Schwander killed her in a vacant building where he was living and moved her body to the sand pile.

The Appeals Court tells 7&4 News that a hearing will be scheduled for Judge Power to justify his departure from the guidelines, or for resentencing.