A Utah teenager was formally sentenced Tuesday to die by lethal injection the week of Jan. 2, 1989, for the shooting death of a young Las Vegas convenience store clerk.
The sentence was imposed Tuesday on Ed Bennett, 19, Lehi, who was convicted last month in the murder Feb. 9 of Michelle Moore.The jury that convicted Bennett recommended the death penalty. District Judge Miriam Shearing formally imposed the death sentence Tuesday. That sentence will automatically be stayed pending appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Bennett made no comment at the formal sentencing Tuesday.
The teenager also was sentenced to two terms of 71/2 years each for attempted robbery and two terms of 20 years each for attempted murder.
Shearing ruled that those sentences will run concurrently with the death sentence.
A prosecutor argued that the two sentences should run consecutively to the death penalty. "I don't think he should be given free felony crimes," said Mel Harmon, Clark County chief deputy district attorney.
Harmon said trial testimony indicated Bennett had told a friend that he and Joseph Beeson were on "a killing spree" when Moore was gunned down at a convenience store east of the Las Vegas Strip during a robbery attempt.
Derrick Franklin, 17, a customer at the store, was wounded in the thigh. Moore was shot point blank in the head by Bennett.
One of Bennett's two court appointed attorneys, Cal Potter, described as ludicrous the argument for consecutive terms when the death penalty is imposed. Potter urged the judge to impose concurrent time.
Beeson, 18, Orem, pleaded guilty earlier this month to first-degree murder and has agreed to receiving two terms of life in prison with no possibility of parole.
He is scheduled for formal sentencing Nov. 4.