- Associated Press - Monday, June 26, 2017

PHOENIX (AP) - A man who participated in a fatal carjacking in Tucson when he was 14 years old was given a more lenient prison term Monday, marking one of the first reduced sentences in Arizona in response to a U.S. Supreme Court decision on how juvenile homicide offenders are to be punished.

Jack David Jewitt, now 38, was originally sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release for his role in the 1993 shooting death of Ellen Marie Knauss, whose body was found in the desert south of Tucson after her SUV had been carjacked from a mall.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to resentence Jewitt to life in prison with the possibility of parole after serving 28 years, including time served after his arrest.

Jewitt will now become eligible for parole in September 2021.

The deal was approved Monday by Pima County Superior Court Judge Catherine Woods.

The new sentence was the result of a January 2016 Supreme Court decision that concluded mandatory life without parole for juvenile homicide offenders was unconstitutional. The decision is causing ripples in courts across the country.

Jewitt was one of 34 men who can seek the new sentences in Arizona.

Attorneys in the case say Jewitt participated in the carjacking, but that David Anthony Trostle, his then-20-year-old accomplice, was the person who fired the shot that killed Knauss.

Prosecutors say they negotiated to resentence Jewitt in light of the Supreme Court decision given his age at the time of the crime and his lesser involvement, when compared to Trostle’s actions.

Trostle, who will not be affected by the Supreme Court decision, was originally sentenced to death, but his punishment was reduced in 1997 to life in prison without a chance at release.

So far, only a handful of prisoners have petitioned to get resentenced although others are expected to follow suit in the future.

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