SD Teen Given Life In Prison Appealing Sentence
by Associated Press
October 10, 2013 10:21 AM
A South Dakota state prison inmate from Watertown who was given a life sentence when she was a teenager is trying to get the sentence overturned.
Jessi Owens was 17 when she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 1998 hammer beating death of David Bauman. Authorities say Owens and another teen went to Bauman's house to steal money.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision last year said mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juvenile homicide offenders violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The now-33-year-old Owens has filed a motion claiming she received an illegal sentence.
Owens appeared before Judge Robert Timm on Wednesday. He will issue a ruling later.