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Defendant in Hudson double homicide case to plead guilty

Defendant in Hudson double homicide case to plead guilty

Oct 30, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

In exchange for the plea, two first-degree murder charges against Ryan Hanway would be dismissed.

A defendant in the Hudson double homicide case intends to plead guilty to one of the charges against him in exchange for a lower prison sentence.

According to a plea agreement filed Oct. 25 in Lander's 9th District Court, Ryan Blake Hanway (Myers), 23, of Riverton, plans to enter a guilty plea to conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.

Hanway is one of five individuals charged in connection with the Nov. 15, 2011, murders of Eric Clinton Likes, 42, and Likes' girlfriend Elva Charlotte Quiver, 20, at Likes' trailer house in Hudson.

Hanway entered not-guilty pleas to all charges in July. He is expected to change his plea in court Nov. 9. If the plea agreement is rejected, he can withdraw his guilty plea and the state can proceed with the prosecution of all charges.

Although conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery is punishable by imprisonment of not less than five years or more than 25 years, the agreement stipulates prosecutors would not argue for more than a 10- to 20-year sentence.

The felony charge alleges that on or about Nov. 13, 2011, Hanway agreed with one or more co-defendants -- Laziur Stephen Hanway Jr., Joseph Jude Jenkins, Jude Blackburn and Samantha June Hanway -- that one or more of them would commit aggravated robbery and that one or more of them did an "overt act" to carry through the objective of the agreement.

In exchange for the guilty plea, two first-degree murder charges against Ryan Hanway would be dismissed. Those charges allege that, in perpetration of a robbery, Ryan Hanway killed and/or aided and abetted in the killings of Likes and Quiver at the Hudson residence.

Hanway, his public defender John J. Deleon, and Fremont County Attorney Brian Varn signed the agreement.

If the court accepts the deal, Hanway is required to give a complete and truthful account about the crimes, pay restitution on all original charges and pay fines imposed by the court.

According to the agreement, Hanway's failure to abide by his bond shall result in the entire agreement being rendered null and void and he will not be permitted to withdraw his plea. If this occurs, the state can proceed to sentencing as if no deal was in place.

Hanway has been in custody of the Fremont County Detention Center on a $1 million cash-only bond since he and the four others were arrested in March.

According to court testimony at his April preliminary hearing, detectives believe Hanway on or before Nov. 13 was contacted by Jenkins and Laziur Hanway Jr. about joining the two in robbing and "roughing up" Likes.

According to investigators, the motive was to steal money from Likes to help a pregnant Samantha Hanway and her husband Jenkins, who were facing eviction.

Ryan Hanway allegedly agreed to the plan and helped the group scope out the scene a few days before the Nov. 15 murders.

Detectives think Ryan Hanway coached the others on what to do, telling them to use guns but no cell phones and not to look directly into any cameras in the area.

According to court testimony, Ryan Hanway did not participate in the Nov. 15 murders and robbery or the subsequent arson on Nov. 17.

If the court accepts the agreement next month, it will be the second deal reached in the case.

Last month, Samantha Hanway, 21, of Ethete, pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and abetting second-degree murder as part of a plea agreement, which dismissed other charges and lowers her sentence to between 25 and 50 years.

Part of the deal involves Samantha Hanway testifying at hearings or trials related to any co-defendants in the case or any other proceeding required of her. She agreed to being sentenced after the court's final determinations for the other four defendants.

If Samantha Hanway stops cooperating at any time before the sentencing, the deal will be voided and she will not be allowed to withdraw her plea.

She is currently at the detention center on a $500,000 cash-only bond.

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