BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Supreme Court has rejected an appeal for a man serving life without parole for killing a West Fargo woman when he was 16 years old.
Barry Garcia is the only current 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 1995 shooting death of Cherryl Tendeland.
Garcia argued the sentence was unconstitutional and he should be considered for a reduced term. His lawyers cited a new state law that bans sentences for juveniles without the possibility of parole.
Justices say the law was passed after Garcia filed his appeal and could not be considered. They say it’s up to a judge to decide whether the law applies retroactively to Garcia.