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Court Upholds Life Sentence In Sheridan Killing

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Supreme Court has upheld a life prison sentence for a Sheridan teenager convicted of murder in a home invasion killing.

The court on Thursday rejected Dennis Poitra Jr.’s claim that his conviction in the August 2009 killing of Sheridan businessman Robert Ernst violated Poitra’s constitutional rights.

Poitra was 19 at the time of Ernst’s killing and is one of three Sheridan teens sentenced to life in prison in the crime.

The Supreme Court ruled against Poitra’s arguments that he was unable to control his behavior because he had taken antipsychotic medication shortly before the killing.

The court also denied Poitra’s arguments that his trial should have been held outside of Sheridan because of heavy publicity.

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