Kalamazoo County Circuit Judge Paul Bridenstine sentenced Iyanna Colon, 23, to life in prison on September 5, 2023. Colon was convicted of first-degree murder in the January 2022 homicide of her boyfriend, Maan Saleh Alblowi. Despite her self-defense argument, the jury found her guilty, leading to her life sentence.
The Trial and Sentencing
During the three-day jury trial that concluded on August 3, 2023, defense attorney Benjamin Norg argued that Colon acted in self-defense. According to Norg, Alblowi had choked Colon to the point of blacking out. However, the jury found her responsible for the death of Alblowi. Kalamazoo County Assistant Prosecutor Amy Sheppard stated that Colon did not act in self-defense and killed Alblowi intentionally.
Colon was on probation at the time of the incident and had a history of violence. She had previously pleaded guilty to a felony charge of assault with a dangerous weapon. She also pleaded guilty in October 2021 to felony resisting, assaulting, and obstructing a police officer.
During a preliminary hearing in June 2022, Portage Police officer Brent Reynhout testified about Colon's initial report to the police. According to Reynhout, Colon told him that Alblowi dragged her by her hair, hit her head, and choked her until she couldn't breathe and blacked out. She then choked him back, leading to his death.
Colon has 42 days to appeal her case. Her attorney could not be reached for comment prior to the publication of this article to confirm if she plans to appeal.