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High court won't review Blackburn case
Oct 30, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer
The Wyoming Supreme Court has denied a request to examine the case of the last defendant in the Hudson homicides. If the high court had decided on Oct. 22 to hear the petition for writ of review, Jude Blackburn's prosecution in local courts could have been delayed further.
He currently is scheduled to see trial Feb. 10, almost two years after prosecutors filed charges against him.
Blackburn's lawyers filed the petition with the Supreme Court on Sept. 30, but the details of the request and the prosecutors' response to it are sealed.
At Blackburn's arraignment Oct. 9, District Court Judge for Fremont County Norman E. Young set a trial February. The judge said the date would be delayed if the Supreme Court decided to hear the writ.
In the order denying the petition, the high court also said Blackburn could be considered indigent and unable to pay court fees or the cost of representation.
Blackburn, 17, pleaded not guilty Oct. 9 to the nine charges against him: one 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.
In March 2012, prosecutors charged Blackburn in the Nov. 15, 2011, slayings of Eric Likes, 42, and Elva Charlotte Quiver, 20, both of Hudson, and the burning of their trailer two days later.
Prosecutors allege Blackburn hit Likes in the head twice with a dresser drawer as the Hudson man, who already had been stabbed multiple times, lay in the hallway of his Hudson home.
Issues -- including determining if Blackburn was fit to stand trial and could be tried as an adult -- dragged out proceedings in his case. In August, Young decided Blackburn was fit to stand trial.
If the court found him unfit, Blackburn would have received education and therapy to rehabilitate him, a process that could take months or years.
A month later, the judge ruled that prosecutors could try Blackburn as an adult.
Blackburn's alleged accomplices already have settled their cases. Laziur Stephen Hanway Jr., of Ethete, was sentenced in March to two concurrent life in prison sentences after pleading guilty to two second-degree murder charges.
In May, Joseph Jude Jenkins, of Arapahoe, received 70 years for his role in the murders, and his wife, Samantha June Hanway, of Arapahoe, will spend 25 to 50 years in prison for her part.
Ryan Blake Hanway, of Riverton, agreed to a plea deal and in May was sentenced to eight to 16 years in prison.