New sentencing for Region 8 inmate given life as teen

Kuntrell Jackson (Source: Arkansas Department of Correction)
Kuntrell Jackson (Source: Arkansas Department of Correction)

LITTLE ROCK, AR (AP/KAIT) - Arkansas' highest court says a man sentenced to life in prison without parole when he was 14 years old deserves a new sentencing hearing.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a new sentencing hearing for Kuntrell Jackson, whose case was one of two that led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year throwing out mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles.

The Arkansas Supreme Court says a judge should consider evidence about Jackson's age and the nature of the crime when determining a new sentence.

Jackson was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after the shooting death of 26-year-old video store clerk Laurie Troup during an attempted robbery at Movie Magic in Blytheville on November 18, 1999.

Chickasaw Courts, located at Arkansas and S. Division, is the housing project where Jackson, along with his cousin Travis Booker and Derrick Shields conspired to rob the video store.

Jackson's lawyers say Shields and Booker went in the store, and Jackson followed a few moments later.

After a brief exchange with the men, Troup threatened to call police, and Shields shot her in the face with a sawed-off .410 gauge shotgun.

Jackson was convicted of capital murder and aggravated robbery. He is serving his sentence at a maximum security unit in Tucker, AR.

The 2012 Supreme Court ruling that led to the decision by the Arkansas Supreme Court cited the Eighth Amendment prohibition of "cruel and unusual punishments."

The Arkansas Supreme Court ordered in its ruling that a sentencing hearing for Jackson be held in Mississippi County Circuit Court, and that the sentence must fall within the designated range for a Class Y felony.

The sentencing range for a Class Y felony is no less than 10 years and no more than 40, or life.

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