May 10, 1996 in Idaho

18-Year-Old Killer Gets 30-To-Life Term

Associated Press
 

A judge on Thursday ordered the Mountain Home teenager who shot Forest Service engineer David Jack Wheeler to death last year to spend from 30 years to life in prison.

And even if Eric Brown ever convinces officials he no longer poses a risk to society, “You are going to be on an intensive parole program for the rest of your life,” 3rd District Judge Dennis Goff said.

Brown, 18, pleaded guilty in March to first-degree murder for the April 26, 1995, slaying of Wheeler while the Baker City, Ore., man was inspecting a bridge in the Payette National Forest.

Ronald Stiner, 17, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for his role in Wheeler’s death. Goff sentenced him on Thursday to 15 years to life in prison, and said Stiner should not be considered for parole at all until he demonstrates “a dramatic change in attitude,” potential for rehabilitation and accepts responsibility for his actions.

“You are both cold-blooded killers,” Goff told Brown and Stiner at the end of their sentencing hearing.

Both teens also were ordered to serve two to five years in prison for stealing a truck after they escaped from an Elmore County detention trailer in Mountain Home the day before Wheeler’s murder.

The grand theft terms are to run concurrently with the murder sentences.

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