The agreement's title is “Joint Statement of Plea Agreement to Ensure that the Defendant Is Never Released from Prison.” It calls for the Life without Possibility of Parole sentence plus a number of years. He admitted in court today he isn't mentally retarded and was adequately represented. Whereas a death penalty conviction would've generated at least one and likely numerous appeals, he today waived his right to appeal.
We expressed this preference to Clark Co. Prosecutor Steven Stewart last fall. It was by accident or providence that we learned last week that the defense had been interested in making a plea arrangement that avoided the death penalty all along. Once it was realized our family and the defense wanted essentially the same thing, the process has moved very quickly.
I am grateful Josh and the police will not have to get on a stand to relive and detail what they experienced. I am grateful our family, friends and community will not continue to bear the costs related with a death penalty trial and that the defendant will soon be moved out of our county jail. I'm grateful that Hooten will likely die sooner than he would have on death row as inmates in general population, especially ones with charges such as his, have a shorter life expectancy when not segregated than those sentenced to death. Mostly, I'm grateful Tara's modesty and dignity can be protected in a way that would not be possible were there to have been a trial given today's media environment.
Formal sentencing is May 19.
- GrumpyGranny, Quasar, Teresa Fisher and 14 others like this