Spencer, IA (KICD)–One of 10 individuals involved in the 1997 kidnapping and slaying of Gregory Erickson is now eligible for parole and may appeal his convictions.
In Clay County District Court this (Friday) morning Judge David Lester handed down his ruling in on the resentencing of 32-year-old Ryan Wedebrand.
In coming up with his ruling Lester cited Wedebrand being 16 when his crime occurred, a lack of an ideal family life, the decision to join the Los Krazy Boys gang leading to his situation, and said the possibility of rehabilitation for Wedebrand was very good.
At least 20 individuals provided letters in support of Wedebrand’s resentencing with some offering to help with reintegration into society if parole is granted. Clay County Attorney Mike Houchins, on behalf of the state argued that Wedebrand serve a total of 35 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
Lester reaffirmed Wedebrand’s conviction of 1st Degree Murder and 1st Degree Kidnapping. Wedebrand may appeal these convictions to the Iowa Supreme Court in the next 30 days.
Wedebrand was 16 in June of 1997 when Gregory Erickson was kidnapped from a Spencer apartment, tortured and then fatally shot at an abandoned farmhouse in Jackson County, Minnesota.
Wedebrand’s request for resentencing followed a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that deemed it unconstitutional to automatically sentence teenagers to life without the chance of parole.