In the News- March 31, 2022
Life Sentence Reversed for Conom Law Firm Client in Double Murder Case
The science of youth brain development has been evolving over the past twenty years, and courts have taken notice of the fact that young brains are different than adult brains. Young people are more impulsive and have less control over their own behavior until they reach their mid-20’s. In a case called State v. Monschke last year, the Washington Supreme Court held that the youthfulness of a person who commits a crime while under age 21 must be taken into account by a judge before giving a sentence of life in prison.
In this tragic case, our client, Eric Krueger, was convicted of two murders in 1998, when he was aged 20. Importantly, he was not the person who actually killed the victims, but he had planned a robbery of the victims after he believed that one of the victims had stolen some money from him. It was the co-defendant, Robert Anderson, who took the seed of the robbery plan and escalated it into a plan to kill the victims.
Eric ran away and tried to detach himself from Anderson’s plan to kill the victims. But, due to his youth and immaturity, as well as a childhood filled with abuse and hardship, he did not have a proper understanding of how to stop Anderson’s murder plot from being carried out. He hid rather than taking responsibility for stopping Anderson’s plan. So, a jury convicted Eric in 1998 of being an accomplice to the crimes. Eric received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of release.
Eric has been in prison for the past 25 years. This week, Judge Karen Moore of the Snohomish County Superior Court re-sentenced Eric to 40 years in prison, giving him credit against the time he’s already served. While the sentence was higher than the one we had sought, it was far less than life in prison. Thanks to the law’s evolving understanding of childhood brain development and the advocacy of the Conom Law Firm, Eric will be a free man once again in his life.
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