Archived Story

The New Yorker features Eliason case

Published 6:11pm Friday, December 30, 2011

The story that took Niles by storm more than a year ago has made national headlines.

The New Yorker has featured a feature-length article in its Jan. 2 issue about 16-year-old Dakotah Eliason, a former Niles resident who is serving a life prison sentence for murdering his grandfather. He was sentenced in 2010.

Writer Rachel Aviv consulted former Star reporter Jessica Sieff for her research, and the magazine’s art department utilized Star photos and headlines for its feature, “No Remorse,” part of its “Annals of Justice” series. Read the article at

Aviv interviewed Eliason in prison we well as his family and other people involved in the case.

The Eliason case grabbed The New Yorker’s attention because of the unusual age of the defendant. Eliason was 14 when he committed the murder, and homicide carries a sentence of life in prison without parole in Michigan.

Eliason was back in Berrien County court earlier this month for an evidentiary hearing, ordered by the Michigan Court of Appeals, to determine if he received ineffective representation from his former lawyer, Lanny Fisher, during his trial in August 2010.

Eliason will have to wait at least two months to find out if he will be tried again, as Judge Scott Schofield adjourned the hearing based on an issue regarding documents sealed from the public.

The documents are an evaluation of Eliason conducted by a professor and director of the Child Trauma Assessment Center at Western Michigan University to determine why Eliason showed little emotion and remorse after the incident.

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