Nickoloff Killers Back in Court This Winter Seeking Freedom
A man sentenced as a juvenile in a brutal killing in Parker in 1988 will be back in a Yakima County Superior Courtroom this winter for a resentencing.
Herbert "Chief" Rice Junior and Russell McNeil, both 17-years-old were convicted in the killing of Dorothy and and Mike Nickoloff in Parker. After a trial both teens were sentenced to life in prison with no parole. Now both are set to be resentenced after a 2012 decision by the US Supreme Court found unconstitutional mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole for juveniles.
Rice is expected in a courtroom in Yakima in December
Yakima County Prosecutor Joe Brusic says Rice's hearing has been moved from October to December 12 in Yakima County Superior Court where he could released from prison. Both were set to face resentencing in 2016 but delays and the pandemic pushed the hearings to a later date.
Brusic says he believes a similar resentencing hearing for Russel McNeil will likely happen early next year.
Brusic is hoping to convince a judge to keep them behind bars
Brusic says the brutal stabbing of the couple at their Parker home was one of the most brutal crimes in the history of Yakima County. Brusic is determined to convince a judge to keep both men behind bars and he says he'll call all the appropriate witnesses but he's not convinced that will keep the men in prison. He says he expects both to eventually gain freedom.
Another important resentencing hearing is set for the fall
Another hearing set for fall will be in the case of Miguel Giatan for the 1993 killing of the Skelton family in Outlook. The other defendent Joel Ramos has been released from prison after a similar hearing in 2020.
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