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Wyoming Supreme Court upholds murder resentencing

October 11, 2019

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Supreme Court has upheld a county ruling Thursday that resentenced a teenager convicted of first-degree murder and other charges.

Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that Phillip Sam was 16 when he fatally shot 19-year-old Tyler Burns in a Cheyenne park in 2014.

A Laramie county judge originally sentenced Sam to a prison term that left him eligible for parole after 52 years.

The state Supreme Court overturned the sentence in 2017 saying it essentially amounted to a life sentence that violated the Eighth Amendment prohibiting excessive punishment.

The same judge resentenced Sam making him eligible for parole after 35 years behind bars or when he is 51 years old.

The district court also says Sam should be treated as a juvenile in the case.

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Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, http://www.wyomingnews.com