Defendant in 1988 firefighters' deaths seeks prison release
KANSAS CITY (AP) — An attorney for a man serving a life sentence for his role in a 1988 explosion that killed six Kansas City firefighters has asked a federal judge to immediately release him.
The Kansas City Star reports Cynthia Short argued in motions on Bryan Sheppard's behalf that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in recent years that mandatory life-without-parole sentences of juveniles were unconstitutional. Now 45, Sheppard was 17 at the time of the blast.
Short insists that under current law, Sheppard could only be sentenced to up to 10 years. Because Sheppard already has served more than two decades, Short says he should be freed "at the earliest possibility."
Sheppard was one of five people convicted in the firefighters' deaths. They all have maintained their innocence.