20yr Old Murder Case Could Set Precedent Across WYSubmitted By: Liz Cooper, LCooper@K2tv.com
Due to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling of Miller vs. Alabama, a 20 year old murder case could be brought back into the court room.
The case is directly related to juveniles being sentenced to life in prison.
Today, a Natrona County District Judge granted a motion for both parties in the 1993 murder case to draft an order for the Wyoming Supreme Court.
This could have a far reaching effect across the state.
And it is the very beginning of an in depth and what could be historic precedent for the Wyoming court room.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2012, that states can't automatically give minors life without parole sentences.
Therefore, both parties from the 1993 murder of Velma Filener brought a motion to the Natrona County court this morning.
16 year old Edwin 'Ike' Mares was sentenced in 1995 for the murder of the 76 year old woman.
And because Mares was a juvenile at the time of the crime and with the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, his case comes back in front of District Court Judge Catherine Wilking.
This morning, Judge Wilking granted District Attorney Mike Blonigen's motion to determine whether or not this U.S. Supreme Court ruling could be applied retroactively to Wyoming cases.
From there the motion would be heard in front of the Wyoming Supreme Court to determine if Judge Wilking has any grounds to apply retroactivity.
If so, and the Judge re-looks at other factors from the 1993 murder case like Mares' maturity, his background or his development, for examples.
Edwin 'Ike' Mares case, who is now 35 years old, sets the precedent for at least 5 other cases involving juveniles in Wyoming.
Both the state and the defense have 30 days to draft the order that will on to the Wyoming Supreme Court.