Wyoming Supreme Court Boots Juvenile Life Sentences

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Wyoming Supreme Court Boots Juvenile Life Sentences

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The Wyoming Supreme Court has ordered a new sentencing hearing for a man serving a life sentence for a 2009 home invasion killing in Sheridan. The court on Friday ordered a district judge to decide how many years Wyatt Bear Cloud must serve before he will be eligible for parole. Bear Cloud was convicted of killing Sheridan businessman Robert Ernst. Bear Cloud was 16 when Ernst was killed.

Friday's court order follows a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year outlawing mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles. The Wyoming Supreme Court also ruled provisions of state law barring parole for juvenile offenders are unconstitutional. The Wyoming Legislature is considering a bill that would specify juveniles convicted of first-degree murder would be eligible for parole after serving 25 years.

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