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Brothers Sentenced in Hunters’ Murders

November 14, 2003 GMT

MIO, Mich. (AP) _ Two brothers have been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing two hunters who disappeared in 1985.

Raymond ``J.R.″ Duvall and Donald ``Coco″ Duvall proclaimed their innocence before being led away Thursday. A jury last month took only two hours to find them guilty of murdering Brian Ognjan and David Tyll.

``I really feel bad for you,″ Raymond Duvall, 52, of South Branch, told the victims’ families. ``But it’s hard to find remorse when you didn’t do it.″

Prosecutors said the Duvalls savagely beat and kicked the 27-year-old victims and laughed at their pleas for mercy on a snowy night outside a bar in Mio in northeast Michigan. The bodies of Ognjan and Tyll were never found.

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``When you wake up in the morning, you will hear Dave’s screams,″ Tyll’s sister Shawn Tyll told his killers during the sentencing hearing. ``All we have left are memories. You guys are still alive.″

``Many good memories of Brian remain with me,″ said Ognjan’s mother, Helen Ognjan. ``You deprived me of having grandchildren. May God have mercy on your souls.″

No clear-cut motive for the killings emerged from the trial, although some prosecution witnesses said Raymond Duvall and Donald Duvall, 51, of Monroe, had spoken of having clashed with the hunters over a deer.

The prosecution’s star witness, Barbara Boudro, said she saw the Duvalls attack the hunters near her home in rural Oscoda County, about 200 miles north of Detroit. She said she waited years to step forward because she feared for her life.

Lawyers for the brothers said they almost certainly will appeal, the Detroit Free Press reported.

State police said the case remains open and others might be charged. Three others are believed to have watched the killings.