An Idaho man, sentenced to death more than 30 years ago for the murder of a 3-year-old, has been ordered off of Idaho's death row but will be spending the rest of his days behind bars.
In 1981, prosecutors said Gene Stuart tortured 3-year-old Robert Miller, the son of Stuart's girlfriend, to death in her Orofino home. The child ultimately died from an abdominal punch that lacerated his liver. Stuart was sent to death row and had been scheduled for execution in 1983.
Stuart, now 64, has spent more than 30 years appealing his death sentence on various grounds, including ineffective legal assistance. Now, this morning's Lewiston Tribune reports
an agreement, two years in the making, has amended Stuart's conviction from first-degree murder to second-degree murder, reducing his death sentence to life in prison and requiring Stuart give up his right to any further appeals.
reports the Idaho attorney general's office would not comment on the matter, but a judgment from U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill reads, "At this time, this case is considered closed."