A 22-year-old Michigan man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for murdering teenage girl by luring her to his apartment only to cut her down with a machete before attempting to dismember her body using the weapon he used to kill her.

Isabella County Chief Circuit Judge Eric R. Janes on Friday sentenced Joel Patrick-Dorlice Travis to life in prison without the possibility of parole after he pleaded guilty to one count of open murder in the 2021 slaying of 16-year-old Alexia L. Riley, court records show.

Judge Janes also sentenced Travis to a concurrent sentence of 38 months to 10 years in prison on one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm for his role in a separate incident that actually led investigators to discovering Riley’s body. Additionally, Travis was ordered to pay $8,631.57 in restitution and $266 in fines.

According to a report from MLive.com, Michigan State Police troopers responded to a hospital in Mount Pleasant on the evening of Sept. 22, 2021 to question a 14-year-old male who had been struck with a machete during a brawl at an apartment complex located in the 4000 block of South Isabella Road in Union Township, about 70 miles north of Lansing.

Investigators said there was a fight among several teens at the apartment complex. Soon after the scuffle, two individuals involved in the fight returned to the scene with Travis, who allegedly used the machete strike the 14-year-old, sending him to the hospital. After surveilling Travis and the other two people for a brief period, officers witnessed them get into a car accident and placed them under arrest.

In an effort to locate the machete, investigators obtained a search warrant for Travis’ apartment. When they entered the residence, however, they found much more than that: Riley’s dead body, rife with slashes from the machete, MLive reported.

Investigators soon learned that Riley — who had recently been reported missing — was living at Travis’ apartment. She had reportedly been kicked out a few days prior to the investigation into the assault stemming from the fight at the apartment complex.

A juvenile girl arrested along with Travis reportedly told police that Travis believed Riley was upset about being kicked out of the apartment and intentionally set Travis up earlier in the day to get back at him. The juvenile reportedly said that she heard Travis say he planned on killing Riley at least two or three times in the hours before her murder.

Though he initially denied being involved in Riley’s death, Travis reportedly confessed to luring Riley to his apartment by telling her that he needed help tending to his cat. She arrived at the apartment less than a half-hour later and never left, according to the report.

Addressing the court before being formally sentenced, Travis apologized for the brutal slaying.

“My actions that day were reprehensible,” he said, according to the local news website the Morning Sun. “I did what I did out of fear, out of not realizing the value of another life. If I could take it back, I would. She had dreams that I took away from her. I don’t expect forgiveness.”

Judge Janes, apparently unconvinced by Travis’ expressions of remorse, reportedly emphasized that Riley was the second person Travis attacked with a machete in the same day. He called the girl’s murder “the most disturbing crime” he had seen in his time on the bench.

After the hearing, Travis was transported to the Charles E. Egeler Reception and Guidance Center in Jackson for intake.

Original Article