Sen Trial: Verdict Rendered

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The 12-person jury in the State vs. Dharminder Vir Sen deliberated for just over two hours Friday afternoon, before rendering a verdict on three counts. Sen was charged with three counts for his involvement in the home invasion and shooting of Robert Ernst on August 26, 2009. Sheridan Media's Mary Jo Johnson has the report.


Count 1 - First Degree Murder, the verdict is Guilty.

Count 2 - Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Burglary, the verdict is Guilty.

Count 3 - Aggravated Burglary, the verdict is Guilty.

Neither the State nor the Defense required the jury to be individually polled, accepting their corporate acknowledgment to Judge John Fenn that the three Guilty verdicts were true and accurate of their decision.

The call to come back to the Sheridan County Courthouse came at around 3:40 pm, and Dharminder Sen's mother [from Nebraska], grandmother [from California] and aunt [from New York], who had been present throughout the five days, arrived at about 3:53 pm. Understandably, the three were very emotional as they waited.

Dharminder Sen was at first brought into the courtroom wearing his leg shackles and handcuffs over his civilian clothes. His attorney, Tim Cotton, angrily spoke to the Detention Center guard, saying it was not right for him to be wearing them. Sheriff Dave Hofmeier, along with Prosecutor Matt Redle and Cotton, went into Judge's Chambers, and Cotton returned to inform the guard to take Sen out and to remove the cuffs and shackles. As he did so, Sen's mother tearfully thanked Cotton.

Just before bringing the jury in, Judge Fenn told the Court that he was grateful for the respectful attitudes of everyone over the past five days, but would in no way tolerate either any celebrations or outbursts of any kind when the verdict was read, or he would exercise his Power of Contempt.

The jury filed in somberly, with many jurors visibly moved by the seriousness of the decision they had just made. Dharminder Sen stood stoically while Clerk of District Court Nicki Arney read the three verdicts; his mother, grandmother and aunt quietly sobbed.

Judge Fenn asked Sen to stand one more time and said that a sentencing date would be set. Until then, his bond was revoked, and he was remanded back to the Sheridan County Detention Center. As the guard escorted Dharminder Vir Sen out of the courtroom, his family told him they loved him.

Representing a relieved Ernst family was daughter Lisa Ernst Knox, who had traveled from Chandler, Arizona for the second time -- she was also present with her sister Ann for the Dennis Poitra, Jr. trial in September. Ms. Knox was very happy with the verdict, and returned home to Linda Ernst with the news.

Covering the State vs. Dharminder Vir Sen trial for sheridanmedia.com news, I'm Mary Jo Johnson.

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Where?

So his mom/grandma/aunt were in the courtroom. But where were they when this kid needed guidance? Authority? They let him run wild and look what happened.

where Aspen

There are man factors involved in the guidance of another human being. Some of which you will never understand or know. No one let him run wild. You should think about the pain your words and actions can cause others. My God will they never know.
I thank God that the Ernst family had compassion and understanding even with their great loss. I understand that Bob Ernst was that kind of man and so is his family. This was all a very very tragic event for everyone concerned. If you are not fully aware... of the death,...
the apprehension,...the trial,... the verdict. That both families lived threw then ask so that you may learn to have compassion for others and not make judgmental off the cuff remarks. Christ be with both families as we try to stumble threw our losses, sadness, and fears. May we all grow from this

I BELIEVE YOU MAY HAVE MISUNDERSTOOD HOLLOWAY. THE INDIVIDUAL COMMENTED ON THE STATUES IN WYOMING THAT FAIL TO PROTECT MINORS AND THE SADNESS OF THE WHOLE SITUATION AND SADNESS AND LOSS EACH INDIVIDUAL INVOLVED ARE EXPERIENCING. IF YOU WERE NOT IN ATTEN

human choices

intent was never proven in your court of law. proof that any adult mind made this decision was never proven for Dharminder Sen, the testimony was not allowed. not everyone was in court to hear what testimony was allowed and there were 5 people in that house. one died, one lost her husband, three made horrible horrible decisions earlier that night and probable could never have had any concept the chain of events they set into motion would result as they did.
i do know that one of them did not and the sadness he feels for the Ernst family. he has chosen to accept his punishment as a child unlike any man i have ever known or ever will know. what they did was wrong, what the laws of Wyoming regarding minors is weak and should be changed. Children are not adults nor do they behave as adults or commit adult crimes..there is no such thing. There were a few children that made decisions to do the right thing some adults that behaved like children and some individuals that behaved like descent human beings.

I BELIEVE YOU MAY HAVE MISUNDERSTOOD HOLLOWAY. THE INDIVIDUAL COMMENTED ON THE STATUES IN WYOMING THAT FAIL TO PROTECT MINORS AND THE SADNESS OF THE WHOLE SITUATION AND SADNESS AND LOSS EACH INDIVIDUAL INVOLVED ARE EXPERIENCING. IF YOU WERE NOT IN ATTEN

I am with you justice. We

I am with you justice. We need to send a strong message to any other punks that we will not tolerate this behavior in our community. I think a public hanging on the corner of main and coffeen would save the tax payers a whole lot of money. I am with the sheriff in arizona, make them work for there food clothes ect.

I'm sorry for all involved,

I'm sorry for all involved, having said that these men became adults when they decided to enter a home with the intent of stealing. Had one of them been killed by a homeowner it would have also been an adult decision. While I do feel sympathy the convicted and their families I really don't care at this point how much regard the state has for them. I expect the state to care for people who obey the law and play by the rules.

Justice

Although not perfect and, unfortunately, not fair to everyone, the Wyoming Justice System prevailed in this case. We often hear that the juvenile system in Wyoming is broken, which is a seperate argument. This "juvenile" made an adult decision and all three of them were charged AS ADULTS. Every "child" over the age of 12 with a normal mental capacity knows the difference between right and wrong. The decision to actually seek out the occupants of the house, after the theft ocurred, means that Sen intended to kill someone. Then, like most juveniles, he couldn't refrain from bragging to his pals about it. It is the duty of the state to ensure that he does not harm anyone again. His promise to do that means nothing, so the state will prevent him from ever living in a community again. This is sad. Its sad that Mr Ernst and his family had to be subjected to this. Its sad that the lives of three young men are ruined. And it is sad that the residents of Wyoming will be supporting all three at a rate of at least 60k a year for the next 60 some years.

NOT A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING

I BELIEVE YOU MAY HAVE MISUNDERSTOOD HOLLOWAY. THE INDIVIDUAL COMMENTED ON THE STATUES IN WYOMING THAT FAIL TO PROTECT MINORS AND THE SADNESS OF THE WHOLE SITUATION AND SADNESS AND LOSS EACH INDIVIDUAL INVOLVED ARE EXPERIENCING. IF YOU WERE NOT IN ATTENDANCE YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO APPRECIATE HOLLOWAY'S COMMENT OR MINE

I BELIEVE YOU MAY HAVE MISUNDERSTOOD HOLLOWAY. THE INDIVIDUAL COMMENTED ON THE STATUES IN WYOMING THAT FAIL TO PROTECT MINORS AND THE SADNESS OF THE WHOLE SITUATION AND SADNESS AND LOSS EACH INDIVIDUAL INVOLVED ARE EXPERIENCING. IF YOU WERE NOT IN ATTEN

ok

He wasnt paniced when he broke into the mans house. he was a thief and murder. do i understand u to say since the man was old and ill it is ok he should be killed and let the young guy live cause he made a booboo??Wyo system doesnt care? He killed a very innocent man, I am sorry for the kids family but he made the choice to pull the trigger. do u think he deserves a slap on the wrist? sent to his room? if that man was your dad would u feel the same? i hope i misunderstood your position. if i did , then i apologize.. if i didnt then you owe the Ernst family an apology

Precisely.

Of course I am not saying that the boy should be considered innocent. Indeed he killed a person. Where I start to lack a sense of understanding is that this boy was 15 when it happened. In just about anything that is considered a minor, yes? However when it comes time for punishment he is a "adult" all of a sudden. A slap on the wrist is not what my comment was intending. However a lifetime in prison seems extremely and terribly sad. No argument there. I owe no one an apology for my opinion. And if this boy was your best friend and knew him personally and knew that this was not him at the time, that he had to have had some influence because he was not like that, would you be in your position?

Let's be realistic here,

Let's be realistic here, these boys are lucky an armed homeowner in good health didn't fill them full of holes. It's lucky for them that they will be in prison instead of the cemetery.

Just understand that if they

Just understand that if they would have been treated as juveniles, I believe they would go free at the age of eighteen when the court loses jurisdiction. The whole entire thing is sad.

Sad.

Perhaps the most heartbreaking thing about this whole thing is that that the outcome of a frantic, panicking young boy who took the life of an 80 year old unhealthy man's life has his entire life taken away as well. Does anyone ever think that way? There is a 60 some year difference between the two! This young boy has made the biggest mistake of his life. If only he'd known that the Wyoming legal system has no care towards people like him. No interest other than just disposing of a life.