Juvenile Sentence Appeal

Juvenile Sentence Appeal Click to Enlarge

A man serving life without parole for killing a West Fargo woman when he was 16 years old says he should be considered for a reduced sentence.

Barry Garcia is the only state inmate who was sentenced to life without parole for a crime committed as a juvenile. He was convicted of murder and aggravated assault in the shooting death of Cheryl Tendeland in 1995.

A Cass County judge in January rejected Garcia's argument that the sentence was unconstitutional. Garcia's lawyers are appealing to the state Supreme Court, citing a new state law that bans sentences for juveniles without the possibility of parole.

Prosecutors say the Legislature did not intend the new law to apply to Garcia.

The North Dakota Supreme Court heard the case on Thursday.

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