Posted: Jan 19, 2012 1:20 PM by Elaine Sheridan
Updated: Jan 19, 2012 3:52 PM
The Colorado Court of Appeals announced today that they are upholding the murder conviction and sentencing of Joel Stovall.
In 2001 Joel Stovall and his twin brother Michael shot and killed Fremont County Sheriff Deputy Jason Schwartz and critically injured Florence Police Officer Toby Bethel.
The Stovalls were sentenced to life without parole plus 896 years, pleading guilty to all counts and excepting the maximum sentence for those charges. In exchange, the prosecutor agreed not seek the death penalty, but Joel Stovall appealed his case claiming his original defense attorneys were "ineffective".
After a hearing to reduce his sentence failed in District Court in 2009, the case made it to the Court of Appeals where they also upheld the conviction.
This still might not be the end of the court process, Stovall can still appeal this ruling to the Colorado Supreme Court. If he loses that argument, he can next argue that his appellate counsel was ineffective, and if he loses there, he can appeal those rulings.