Teen murderer resentenced after U.S. Supreme Court ruling

YORK, Pa. -- A young man resentenced in York County after he was sentenced to life in prison as a teen.

It comes after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in January said it's unconstitutional for juveniles convicted of murder to serve life sentences without parole.

Jordan Wallick was 15 when he shot and killed 28-year-old James Wallmuth III in York in 2010. Wallmuth was sitting on a park bench when Wallick attempted to rob him.

He was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to life without parole, but that recently changed. After a U.S. SupremeCourt decision, his sentencing was reevaluated since committed the crime as a juvenile.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Dave Maisch with the York County DA, said, "It's something that's being experienced not just in York county but across the state and across the country."

A York County judge recently resentenced Wallick to 30 years to life in prison.  Wallick, who is now 21 years old, will have a chance at parole in 2040. Attorney Suzanne Smith, who handled Wallick's resentencing, said he's a different person.

"Time has changed him and I think he made a conscious effort to not be one of the bad people in prison and make positive changes for himself," she said.

But Maisch said it's difficult for the families of the victims to go through this process all over again.

"I can only speculate that it must have been traumatic for them to go from having their child murdered to hearing that the defense is going to be sentenced to a life in prison and then here a couple years later that no that it's undone and now he gets 30 years to life," Maisch said.

District attorneys now have to go back and look at cases from decades ago.

"These do involve a lot of work and having to go through boxes of old files, some of them go back to the 1970s so this is taking quite a bit of time. But we're trying to get justice for the victims and for the families," Maisch said.
But Smith said this is also a difficult process for the defendant's family.
"A lot of times what we're arguing is that they had a bad childhood or that they were exposed to abuse, or they were abandoned by their family," she said.
There are ten other people in York County who will be resentenced.