1st of 4 life sentence challenges is heard in Westmoreland County
Bryan Chambers won't see any change to his life prison sentence anytime soon.
Chambers, a former New Kensington resident, was just 17 when he was arrested for the June 14, 2001, shooting and beating death of 48-year-old Larry Dunmire of Kiskiminetas Township, Armstrong County.
Two years later, Chambers was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to serve life in prison without parole.
Chambers, who is now 27, wants a new sentence after the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year ruled that mandatory life sentences for juvenile offenders are unconstitutional.
The court ruled that young offenders are entitled to a hearing before such a sentence is automatically imposed.
Chambers was in court Monday to ask Westmoreland County Judge John Blahovec for a new sentence.
“The question is now, what's the relief?” said defense attorney Jerome Tierney.
Chambers is the first of four Westmoreland County cases impacted by the Supreme Court ruling to come before a Common Pleas judge.
District Attorney John Peck said Monday that it could be “years” before the state Supreme Court rules on how cases involving juvenile lifers should be handled. It is currently considering whether previously sentenced juveniles are affected by the appeals court ruling.
Peck predicted that ruling would not alter the life sentences imposed on Chambers and the other juveniles.
“You don't have any alternative to give him anything other than a life sentence,” Peck said.
Blahovec said Chambers can ask again for a change to his sentence should state legislators pass a new law regarding juvenile offenders or after the state Supreme Court makes a ruling.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Over the falls — Cucumber Falls that is — go 3 kayakers in Ohiopyle
- Hempfield man charged with giving gun to teen girl
- Ligonier-based group sponsors rafting adventures to help ease veterans’ anxiety
- Westmoreland County Drug Overdose Task Force gets $9K to buy heroin antidote
- PennDOT to preview Route 119 project in East Huntingdon
- 11 Ligonier Township residents rescued by boat from floodwaters
- Southmoreland could get state subsidy boost
- Jeannette teen, charged with killing another, took ‘selfie’ with body, court papers say
- Westmoreland historical society holding antiques appraisal
- Spirit Airlines puts Chicago on its flight path
- Charleroi woman charged in home invasion pleads, is released