Judge Upholds Death Row Inmate's Sentence

Aug 8, 2013

A judge in San Juan County has upheld the death sentence for one of only two New Mexico death row inmates, a Farmington man condemned to die for a killing that occurred before New Mexico generally abolished the death penalty in 2009.

District Judge Karen Townsend on Wednesday denied a defense motion to overturn the death sentence of 39-year-old Robert Fry for the 2000 killing of 36-year-old Betty Lee.

The Farmington Daily Times reports that Fry is serving life sentences for three other killings.

Fry's attorneys argued his sentence should be life without parole because New Mexico abolished the death penalty in 2009. Prosecutors said the Legislature decided that the change didn't abolish previously imposed death sentences.