Andrew Conley being escorted out of
the Ohio County Courthouse after
pleading guilty to murder in 2010.
(South Bend, Ind.) - Arguments in the Andrew Conley sentencing appeal were heard by the Indiana Supreme Court Monday in South Bend.
Conley, now 19, was convicted of murdering his 10-year-old brother Conner in their Ohio County home in November 2009 when he was 17.
Lawyers for Conley argue that Ohio Circuit Court Judge James Humphrey wrongly weighed Conley's mental health when handing down a sentenced of life without parole after Conley pleaded guilty to murder in October 2010.
Those lawyers say three mental experts who analyzed Conley said he had mental illness. Prosecutors argued he was faking.
“So there was a thinking that ‘We need to give this juvenile a life sentence because we are afraid that he’s a psychopath and if we don’t give him a life sentence he might come out and kill again,’ ” defense lawyer Leanna Weissmann told the Indiana Supreme Court, according to the Associated Press.
The Indiana Attorney General's Office is representing the state, asking to keep the life sentence in place. However, Conley wants his sentence reduced to 55 years, which could make him a free man in 25 years with Indiana’s allowance of credit for time served.
The justices did not return a ruling following Monday’s arguments. There is no deadline for the court to issue a decision.