3 men sentenced in Ne'Riah Miller trial

Jury returns sentences in Ne'Riah Miller case

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The three men convicted of killing 16-month-old Ne’Riah Miller were sentenced in court Wednesday. William McLemore and Duwan Mason will spend 35 years in prison for their part in the crime. Demarkus Tramber took a deal with the Commonwealth minutes before sentencing was scheduled to begin this afternoon. He agreed to 20 years in prison without the opportunity to appeal.

The jury deliberated on the guilty verdict for nearly nine hours Tuesday night and into early Wednesday morning, but it took them less than an hour to decide how long the men will spend in prison.

All three men were convicted of wanton murder, assault in the first degree and four counts of wanton endangerment.

The sentencing phase operated as what the judge called a "mini trial". The jury heard from the prosecutor and defense attorneys one final time, it only lasted about an hour.

The prosecution recommended life in prison for the two men.

Prosecutor Ryane Conroy reminded the jury that Ne'Riah Miller is the only person who is truly serving a life sentence. She said regardless of what the jury decides, both men will have a chance to go before the parole board after a number of years.

"While I don't disagree with the concept of second chances, I don't think that we should be naive about people's behavior. We want them on the hook. We want consequences there,” Conroy said.

But the defense was hopeful the jury would consider the minimum time, which would be 20 years. They argued the men are young, and deserve a second chance.

Fred Moore, William McLemore's attorney, said, "I'm asking you to give him the minimum. He's young. He was 19 when it happened. Give him a second chance."

Sentenced to 35-years in prison, McLemore and Mason will go before the prole board after 20 years. Tramber will see the board after 17 years of his sentence is served.

Conroy said, "While we believe that judge made the correct legal decisions, it a process that then extends this for a couple of years because there is a direct appeal process that each of the defendants would have the right to have."

She said all three men were offered the deal that Tramber accepted. Initially, Mason and Tramber agreed, but Mason backed out once in front of the judge. He told his family members he wants the chance to appeal the guilty verdict and with a sentence from the jury that is a right his has.

Mason’s attorney said his client will appeal his case to the Kentucky Supreme Court. McLemore’s attorney declined to comment. 

 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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