Judge Denies New Sentence For Confessed Nevada Child Killer
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A state court judge in Las Vegas has denied a request to resentence a confessed killer who has lost several appeals of his life prison term in the 1997 rape and strangulation of a girl.
District Judge Douglas Smith in an order Monday said Jeremy Strohmeyer's actions were the result of "pre-existing motives" and not impulsive adolescent behavior, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Strohmeyer was 18 years old when he killed 7-year-old Sherrice Iverson inside the Primadona Resort and Casino near the Nevada-California border.
He avoided death row by pleading guilty to murder, kidnapping and sexual assault. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Strohmeyer has argued that he was pressured into taking the plea deal by his lawyers at the time. Strohmeyer's attorneys have since argued he lacked the emotional maturity to control adolescent impulses.
At a court hearing earlier this year, Laurence Steinberg, a Temple University psychology professor, told the judge that "young people are more impetuous and impulsive than adults, so they're more likely to make decisions without thinking about them or thinking about future consequences."
Attorney Tom Pitaro said he intends to appeal the decision to the Nevada Supreme Court.
"We knew when we started this process that it was going to be a long haul," Pitaro said. "So we're in for the long haul."
Prosecutors have said they would seek the death penalty if Strohmeyer gets a new sentencing hearing.
"Jeremy Strohmeyer committed one of the most infamous and heinous crimes in history, and he needs to spend the rest of his life in prison," Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo said.