A man who was recently released from prison after former President Barack Obama commuted his sentence was killed Monday night when two masked gunmen entered a federal halfway house in Saginaw, Mich., and shot him execution style, police say.


Demarlon C. Thomas, 31, was a former member of Saginaw’s Sunny Side Gang who had his 19-year prison sentence commuted by Obama in November, MLive reports. Michigan State Police Lt. David Kaiser told MLive that Thomas was killed by one of two gunmen around 9:40 p.m. Monday.

Kaiser said that one gunman controlled some of the other 23 people in the halfway house while the other shot Thomas numerous times, including in the head.


“One person watched over a group of them while another subject located the victim and executed him,” Kaiser said. “They were looking for this person.”

Kaiser said that no one else was injured in the incident, and it is unknown at this time what security measures the halfway house had in place. There are no suspects in custody.

Thomas was one of 79 people across the country who had their sentences commuted on Nov. 22, 2016. Obama commuted his sentence to expire on March 22, 2017, eight years before his initial release date.

Thomas had been serving time at Elkton Federal Correctional Institution in Lisbon, Ohio. It is unknown how long he had been out of prison and living at the halfway house.


According to MLive, Thomas was arrested in one of the biggest drug busts in the history of Saginaw, and in 2008 he was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the distribution of 5 grams or more of cocaine.

In all, the three-year federal investigation called “Operation Sunset” saw 29 convictions in federal court, including Thomas’, and 10 in state court. MLive reports that it effectively brought about the end of the Sunny Side Gang, which operated on Saginaw’s South Side.


The investigation into the execution of Thomas is being handled by the Michigan State Police Major Crimes Unit.

Read more at MLive.

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.

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