Standish, Mich.(13 November 2003)
— It wasn't until this year that the families of two Detroit-area hunters
who vanished in 1985 learned their fates. There will be no such questions
about the brothers convicted of killing them.
Raymond "J.R." Duvall and Donald "Coco" Duvall were
sentenced Thursday to mandatory life imprisonment with no chance of
parole, said Christal Richards, a secretary for Arenac County Circuit
Judge Ronald Bergeron.
It took investigators 18 years to build a case against
Raymond Duvall, 52, of South Branch, and Donald Duvall, 51, of Monroe. But
a jury needed only two hours to find them guilty Oct. 29 on two counts
each of first-degree murder in the deaths of Brian Ognjan and David Tyll.
The lifelong friends headed north on a hunting trip in
November 1985 and never returned. The Duvalls were accused of savagely
beating and kicking the 27-year-old victims and laughing at their pleas
for mercy on a snowy night outside a bar in Mio in northeast Michigan.
The bodies of Ognjan, of St. Clair Shores, and Tyll, of
Troy, have never been found. Tyll's Ford Bronco also has not been found.
No clear-cut motive for the killings emerged from the
eight-day trial, although some prosecution witnesses said the Duvalls had
spoken of having clashed with the hunters over a deer.
Messages seeking comment were left Thursday with Donald
Duvall's attorney, Seymour Schwartz, and Raymond Duvall's attorney, Scott
Williams. Schwartz said at the time the brothers were convicted that the
verdicts would be appealed.
The Duvalls were to be transferred Friday from the Arenac
County Jail to the State Prison of Southern Michigan at Jackson, where
authorities would decide which institution the brothers should serve their
sentences in, Richards said.
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, whose office prosecuted
the Duvalls, said the victims' families were still coming to terms with
the murders. But, he added, "They know the animals who did this to their
children have been put away."