Man gets 30 years in prison for firefighter’s death

Grant Taylor's mug shot. (Sept. 9, 2015)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A mentally ill man has been sentenced to at least 30 years in prison for killing a Michigan firefighter who was struck by a pickup truck while collecting money for charity.

Grant Taylor declined to speak before his sentencing Thursday. He pleaded guilty but mentally ill to second-degree murder two weeks ago.

Lansing firefighter Dennis Rodeman was struck two years ago while in a street collecting money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Police say the 24-year-old Taylor was upset about slow traffic.

Dennis Rodeman. (Courtesy)

Taylor has a history of mental illness. But the head of the firefighters union, Eric Weber, says Taylor chose to hit Rodeman with his pickup.

Weber told a judge that Rodeman’s death was “reprehensible and preventable.” Taylor will be eligible for parole after 30 years in prison.