Jun 12, 2014 - By Eric Blom, Staff WriterThe last defendants were sentenced Tuesday in the 2011 murders of Elva Charlotte Quiver, 20, and Eric Likes, 42.
Two defendants involved in the 2011 murders of two Hudson residents received their final sentences Tuesday, bringing the case to a close. Both are set to spend much if not most of the rest of their lives behind bars.
The sentencing in Lander District Court was mostly a formality, however, as both sides had agreed to the sentences beforehand. Defendants Samantha Hanway, and her husband Joseph Jude Jenkins, both residents of the Wind River Indian Reservation, had also already been sentenced for one charge each stemming from the slayings of Elva Charlotte Quiver, 20, and Eric Likes, 42, of Hudson. They were serving time in state prisons.
Final sentencing for the two was held off until after their co-defendant Jude Blackburn's case was resolved because they both had agreed to testify against him. His guilty plea Jan. 30 and sentencing in May cleared the way to wrap up Hanway's and Jenkins's cases.
On June 10, Hanway was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison on one count of aiding and abetting second-degree murder with no other fees as they were assessed
during her first sentencing. On May 23, 2013, she was sentenced for one count of the same charge and received the same sentence.
The sentences are to run at the same time, and factoring in credit for time served, she is expected to finish both simultaneously.
Jenkins was sentenced to 70 years to life also on one count of aiding and abetting second-degree murder. He also was sentenced May 23, 2013, to the same term for another count of the same thing. His prison terms are also to run concurrently and finish together.
District Court Judge Norman E. Young also ordered Jenkins to pay $2,005 in restitution.
Blackburn's, Hanway's and Jenkins's cases were resolved through plea agreements. If Blackburn's had gone to trial, however, Hanway and Jenkins would have had to testify against him or risk violating their plea agreements and face potentially stiffer penalties for their second charges.
At separate hearings Tuesday, lawyers for both defendants and Fremont County Attorney Michael Bennett asked for the sentences the judge gave.
Neither defendant had anything to say about his or her sentence when Young asked. No one representing the victims or the defendants spoke at the hearings either.
Young asked Hanway to describe a normal day in prison.
"Lonesome," Hanway replied.
Each day, Hanway said she gets up, goes to class and then to work as a cook.
At first, Hanway said, she was only paid 35 cents an hour, but is now up to 90 cents an hour.
Young said according to Hanway's file, she has been able to pay off court fees.
The proceedings were the final chapter in a case that spanned three years and saw five defendants convicted and sentenced to decades in prison.
"The cases have consumed a great amount of time and effort. There's not much more to be said at this point other than to bring this matter to a close," Young said at the end of Jenkins' hearing, the last one of the day.
Prosecutors think that late in the night of Nov. 15, 2011, or the next morning, Jenkins, who was 20, and Laziur Stephen Hanway Jr., who was 19, of Ethete, entered Likes's and Quiver's trailer home in Hudson, and that Blackburn, 15 at the time, stayed outside. Jenkins is Blackburn's uncle.
Jenkins and Hanway, Jenkins's brother-in-law, attacked Likes, causing injuries that would have killed him, according to prosecutors, but the victim was still alive when Blackburn went in the trailer and struck him in the head with a dresser drawer.
Samantha Hanway reportedly drove the killers to the victims' home.
Prosecutors believe a fifth defendant, Ryan Blake Hanway, coached the others on what to do but did not go with them the night of the murder. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and received a sentence of eight to 16 years in prison.
-- Staff writer Kelli Ameling contributed to this report
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