BOISE On Friday, Judge Darla Williamson will decide the punishment for the two people convicted for the 2009 murder of 8-year-old Robert Manwill.A jury found Daniel Ehrlick guilty of 1st degree murder and failure to report a death.Robert s mother, Melissa Jenkins, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting his murder.
Williamson is scheduled to sentence Ehrlick on Friday morning at 9 a.m. and Jenkins just after that at 10 a.m.
Ehrlick could serve up to two life terms
A jury convicted Ehrlick on June 30th after a several weeks long trial.All told, Ehrlick s trial included 28 days of testimony and more than 100 witnesses.
The jury found Ehrlick guilty of 1st degree murder during the commission of a felony and murder by torture.The 12 men and women also found him guilty of failure to report a death.
Because the jury also found Ehrlick to be a persistent violator, he faces a sentencing enhancement for the second charge.With both charges, the judge can sentence Ehrlick to up to two life sentences.
Jenkins likely to serve 25 years
Jenkins pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting Robert s murder by not protecting him from Ehrlick s abuse. She was originally charged with 1st degree murder, but she made her guilty plea in January, on the day jury selection was to begin in her murder trial.
Jenkins admitted to Judge Williamson that she left Robert in Ehrlick s care, knowing that he had intentionally inflicted extreme and prolonged pain and extreme and prolonged acts of brutality on the child .Jenkins also told the judge she hid Robert from family, friends, and social workers to hide evidence of the abuse Robert endured.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors are asking Judge Williamson to sentence Jenkins to 25 years in prison.
Robert Manwill s family could speak at sentencing
Robert Manwill was reported missing on July 24, 2009 when Ehrlick called 911, claiming Robert had possibly gone to a birthday party without permission and then disappeared.
Over the next week and a half, Ehrlick and Jenkins appeared on television with family members, pleading for help in the safe return of Robert.During that same time period, police and FBI agents began suspecting Ehrlick and Jenkins of possible foul play.
Robert s body was spotted floating in a canal on August 3, 2009, and his funeral was August 9, 2009.Ehrlick and Jenkins were arrested and charged with 1st degree murder nine days later.
As a part of sentencing in court, those close to a victim are able to make victim impact statements.They are allowed to talk about how the murder has impacted them and talk about Robert.We will not know whether Robert s family will choose to deliver a statement in court until it happens.Robert s father, stepmother, grandparents and other relatives testified during Ehrlick s trial.
Judge Williamson to retire after sentencings
Judge Williamson will be retiring after more than 10 years as a District Judge for the Fourth District Court .Governor Dirk Kempthorne appointed her after she spent more than a decade as a Fourth District Magistrate Judge.
Her replacement will be Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Lynn Graham Norton.Governor Butch Otter appointed Norton this year to replace Williamson when she formally retires.
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