Teen Murderer Phillip Sam Sentenced to Life in Prison
A Cheyenne teen convicted of first-degree murder has been sentenced to life in prison.
17-year-old Phillip Sam was found guilty of first-degree murder and 12 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon last August.
On October 5, 2014, Sam opened fire on a group of teens near Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, killing 19-year-old Tyler Burns.
Since Sam was a juvenile at the time of the shooting, he would normally be eligible for parole after 25 years, but Laramie County District Court Judge Thomas Campbell also sentenced Sam to three separate 9-10 year sentences for the aggravated assault convictions. Those sentences are to be served concurrent to one another and consecutive to the life sentence should he ever be paroled.
"It's the 75 feet you walked before you fired those last rounds that weigh so heavily against you now, that I have a hard time even accepting your apology to the victims," said Campbell. "This is not just cold blooded, it is a disrespectful, cowardly act."
Sam was tried as an adult, but because he was 16 when the shooting occurred the state could not seek the death penalty in the case.