Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Santistevan's plea for leniency rejected

Express Staff Writer

Not to be released until age 73 from his fixed sentence, David L. Santistevan, of Bellevue, last Friday heard 5th District Judge Robert Elgee reject his "Rule 35" request for a more lenient penalty.

A year ago, Santistevan was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder in the second degree in the March 29, 2004, shooting of two Bellevue teens in the alley behind the Silver Dollar Saloon, in Bellevue.

Convicted of shooting John Marshall Hooten and Tyrel Peak, Santistevan was handed a sentence 10 years shy of a life sentence. Elgee on April 8 ordered Santistevan to serve a 35-year sentence, with 22 years fixed and 13 years indeterminate, in the Idaho State Penitentiary.

Under Idaho law, people convicted of crimes have the right to appeal their sentence if they believe their sentencing was either illegal, beyond the maximum allowed for a certain crime, or overly harsh, said Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Thomas.

Santistevan's attorney Doug Nelson asked Elgee to consider that he had essentially handed his client a life sentence.

Elgee said that he had considered that fact during Santistevan's original sentencing and that he did not intend to amend the sentence.

During the last 13 years of his sentence Santistevan could be eligible for parole.

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