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Judge seals file on young homicide defendant

Sep 23, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

A District Court judge issued an order sealing the criminal file of the youngest defendant in the Hudson double-homicide case while he decides if the case should be transferred to juvenile court.

Judge Marvin L. Tyler granted the restriction filed on Sept. 14 that closes "all pleadings, orders, records, transcripts or any other evidence" to the general public in the case against Jude Blackburn, 16, of Riverton.

Blackburn is one of five accused in the Nov. 15 killings of Eric Clinton Likes, 42, and his girlfriend, Elva Charlotte Quiver, 20, and the subsequent robbery and arson at the couple's trailer house in Hudson.

He faces a count of first-degree arson and two counts each of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.

Prosecutors charged the teen as an adult, but defense attorneys are trying to get the case transferred to juvenile court.

The order to seal Blackburn's file came nearly one month after Judge Tyler held a court hearing behind closed doors while argument was made on the defense's motion to transfer the case.

Following a full day of proceedings Aug. 15, Tyler authorized further closing arguments and briefs from the defense and prosecution.

In April, Blackburn's attorneys Jamie M. Woolsey of Casper and Robert L. Stepans of Jackson filed their motion and cited their client's age as one of the reasons for the requested transfer.

Blackburn was 15 years old at the time of his arrest in March.

Woolsey and Stepans also asserted there to be a "reasonable likelihood" Blackburn could be rehabilitated by use of procedures, services and facilities that are only available to juvenile court.

The two are asking the court to consider their client's maturity, home life, environmental situation, emotional attitude, education and juvenile records.

Because the Fremont County Detention Center no longer houses juveniles, Blackburn is at Natrona County Regional Detention Center in Casper on a $1 million cash-only bond.

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