SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Supreme Court has upheld the resentencing to life imprisonment of a Farmington man who as a teenager killed an elderly San Juan County resident.
The court on Monday rejected arguments by Oden Gutierrez that his sentence to life in prison and an additional 18 years violates constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment.
Gutierrez was convicted of murder and other charges for killing Thomas Powell and stealing his car in 2007. Gutierrez was 16 years old at the time of the murder.
The court ordered new sentencing for Gutierrez in 2011 because a judge didn’t have a required pre-sentence report before deciding he should serve 49 years in prison — life plus 19 years.
A life sentence requires 30 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.