Court to decide if Megan’s Law killer gets new fate

    12:30 p.m. NJ.com reports the appeals court has rule Timmendequas’ life sentence be upheld, but it’s up to hte lower court to determine if his trial lawyers erred.

    Update: The appeals court has decided a lower court should address the merit of Timmendequa’s claims that the lwoer court should have revised his sentence when the death penalty was abolished in 2007.

    Original report: Jesse Timmendequas wants out of jail. The now-50-year-old will go before a New Jersey appellate court panel today to argue for his release from jail, where he is serving out a sentence for the 1994 rape and murder of 7-year-old Megan Kanka.

    Timmendequas’ crime is what sparked Megan’s Law, the legislation that requires neighbors be notified when a sex offender moves in. But things have changed in New Jersey since 1994. Mainly, the death penalty was abolished in 2007.

    The court must decide today whether Timmendequas is entitled to the reversal of his life sentence (formerly a death sentence) or a new trial, as NJ.com reports. Timmendequas’ attorney will argue errors by the killer’s previous counsel are grounds for a new look at the case.

    WHYY’s Phil Gregory will have the full report later.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.