- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - A man convicted in the 1991 stabbing death of a 70-year-old Dubuque woman is now eligible for parole, an Iowa District Court Judge ruled.

Sean Rhomberg was 15 when authorities say he stabbed Marion Carpenter in the neck with a knife during a robbery attempt. Officials say Carpenter had hired him the day before to shovel snow at her home.

Rhomberg, now 38, was sentenced in 1992 to life in prison without parole, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald (https://bit.ly/1wJBQKX ) reported.

On Wednesday, judge Thomas Bitter upheld the life sentence for Rhomberg, but didn’t set a minimum amount of time for him to be in prison before he could apply for parole. Bitter said he did not find a legal precedent granting him the authority to do so.

“Based upon the direction and the precedent established by our highest courts, in taking into consideration the defendant’s age at the time of the offense, his maturity level, his intelligence, his surroundings, his susceptibility to influence, I now sentence the defendant to life in prison,” Bitter said. “The issue of parole will be handled entirely by the (Iowa) Department of Corrections and by the parole board.”

Rhomberg, currently at Anamosa State Penitentiary, has been in jail for 22 years. His attorney requested a resentencing after the state’s supreme court determined that a U.S. Supreme Court decision that banned sentences of life without parole for juveniles could be applied retroactively.


Information from: Telegraph Herald, https://www.thonline.com

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