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Hudson suspect pleads guilty to robbery; murder count dropped
Nov 13, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer
Ryan Blake Hanway (Myers) said he takes responsibility for his actions in November 2011 when he agreed with others to attempt to rob a couple in Hudson.
"I'm grateful I didn't go back to the house on the 15th," the 23-year-old Riverton man told the court at a hearing Friday.
Hanway was referring to the Nov. 15, 2011, killings of Eric Clinton Likes, 42, and his girlfriend, Elva Charlotte Quiver, 20, at Likes's trailer house in Hudson.
Under a plea agreement, Hanway pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery in exchange for the dismissal of two first-degree murder charges and a lower sentence.
Nearly a dozen attended the 20-minute hearing in Lander's 9th District Court, including family members of the victims.
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.
It is believed that two days after Likes and Quiver were killed and robbed, some of the suspects returned to the scene and set the trailer house ablaze to cover up the crimes.
Likes's and Quiver's bodies were found Nov. 17, 2011, after emergency personnel responded to their home to put out the fire. Autopsy reports revealed that Likes and Quiver were deceased before the fire began and "died as the result of, but not limited to, numerous stab wounds."
Conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery is punishable by imprisonment of not less than five years or more than 25 years. Ryan Hanway's plea agreement stipulates that prosecutors would not argue for more than a 10- to 20-year sentence.
District Court Judge Norman E. Young continued Ryan Hanway's $1 million cash-only bond until sentencing, which will be at a later date after a presentencing investigation report is complete.
According to court testimony at an April hearing, detectives think co-defendants Jenkins and Laziur Hanway Jr., both now 20 years old, contacted Ryan Hanway on or before Nov. 13, 2011, about joining the two in robbing 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 killings.
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.
In a soft voice, Ryan Hanway told the court he had completed high school, and although he was unemployed at the time of his March arrest, he said his last job was in construction.
Questions then focused on the crimes.
"Just tell me what you did," Young said to Ryan Hanway.
He said he agreed to rob Likes and Quiver because some co-defendants needed rent money.
"Did you know those people?" Young asked about the victims.
"No I didn't," Ryan Hanway said.
He told the court he agreed to get his gun and go back to Hudson to rob the couple, but he didn't go.
"Why didn't you go back, and why weren't you part of the robbery and homicide?" Young asked.
"It got really serious, and I didn't want to be part of it," Ryan Hanway responded. "I didn't want to be there."