"District judge upholds death penalty for convicted serial killer Robert Fry," by Ryan Boetel for the Farmington Daily Times.
District Judge Karen Townsend denied a motion to dismiss the death penalty sentence for convicted serial killer Robert Fry.
The judge made her ruling after a hearing for Fry in district court on Wednesday morning. Fry was sentenced to death for the murder of a Shiprock woman.
Fry’s attorneys argued his sentence should be life without parole because New Mexico abolished the death penalty in 2009. The San Juan County District Attorney said the Legislature made the decision not to apply the new law that abolished the penalty to already imposed sentences.
“New Mexico has repealed the death penalty,” Fry’s attorneys, Kathleen McGarry and Jacquelyn Robins, said in their motion. “It is repugnant to the federal and state constitution to allow this case to go forward with the death sentence intact, while persons who commit the same crimes on or after July 1, 2009, will be spared.”
Fry, a 39-year-old Farmington man, is one of only two people in the state on death row. The other is Timothy Allen, of Bloomfield.
Legislation passed in 2009 abolished the death penalty in New Mexico for future crimes, but it didn’t change the fate of the two San Juan County men who were sentenced to die by lethal injection for their murder convictions.
"Judge Upholds NM Death Row Inmate's Sentence," from the Associated Press via the Carlsbad Current-Argus.
A judge in San Juan County has upheld the death sentence for one of only two New Mexico death row inmates, a Farmington man condemned to die for a killing that occurred before New Mexico generally abolished the death penalty in 2009.
District Judge Karen Townsend on Wednesday denied a defense motion to overturn the death sentence of 39-year-old Robert Fry for the 2000 killing of 36-year-old Betty Lee.
The Daily Times reports that Fry is serving life sentences for three other killings.
Fry's attorneys argued his sentence should be life without parole because New Mexico abolished the death penalty in 2009. Prosecutors said the Legislature decided that the change didn't abolish previously imposed death sentences.
Earlier coverage from New Mexico begins at the link.