03 July 2019 :
New Mexico sets aside final 2 death sentences. The New Mexico Supreme Court on Friday set aside the death penalty for the final 2 inmates awaiting execution after the state's 2009 repeal of capital punishment. In a split decision (3-2), the state's highest court concluded that the death sentences issued to Timothy Allen and Robert Fry were disproportionate in comparison with comparable murder cases. The cases were returned to a district court to impose life sentences to prison. Allen and Fry, ages 56 and 45 respectively, will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years, but would immediately begin serving additional sentences of at least 25 years. Fry will not be eligible for release, the court said. New Mexico repealed the death penalty in 2009. Allen and Fry remained on death row because of prior convictions and their death sentences. Allen was found guilty of kidnapping, attempted rape and the murder of 17-year-old Sandra Phillips in 1994. Fry was sentenced to death in 2000 for fatally stabbing and bludgeoning Betty Lee, a mother of 5. In separate cases, Fry was sentenced to life in prison for 3 murders in 1996 and 1998 in San Juan County.