When Tim Masters walked free from prison after serving ten years for a crime he probably didn’t commit, the number of juveniles serving life without the possibility of parole dropped to 45 in the state of Colorado.
But the number of Colorado inmates serving life without parole sentences for crimes committed when they were minors could easily kick back up to 46 next month if Alberto Valles, who went on trial on January 28 in Arapahoe County, is convicted.
The state changed the law in 2006 so that juvies could no longer receive sentences of life without parole. But the law wasn’t retroactive, so if Masters conviction wasn’t tossed out, he may have never walked free.
Valles is an alleged Sureno who prosecutors say fired a single bullet at a passing vehicle that killed Richard Scobee, who was riding in the backseat of a vehicle driven by someone who allegedly broke off of Valles' gang to form a rival Sureno set.
This will be Valles’ second trial for the murder after a hung jury couldn’t produce a verdict last year. -- Luke Turf