Superior Court overturns life sentence for 16-year-old murderer

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BEDFORD COUNTY — A state Superior Court panel overturned the life sentence of a man who killed a woman and her dog in 2015, according to court documents and a report on

Deauntay Moye must be resentenced under new guidelines that reserve life sentences for only the most incorrigible juvenile killers, the Superior Court ruling says.

In 2015, Moye, then 16, and a 15-year-old accomplice shot 21-year-old Stephanie Waters and her dog, then drove around in Waters’ car as she lay dying in the backseat. They eventually abandoned the car with her body inside.

Moye pleaded guilty to murder and other charges and was issued a life sentence by Bedford County Judge Travis Livengood in December of 2016.

But a state Supreme Court decision in June set a statewide precedent that only the most irredeemable juvenile murderers should be sentenced to life in prison without parole. All others must be given some chance for eventual parole, according to the ruling.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that life prison sentences for killers younger than 18 are unconstitutional.

As a result, Livengood’s sentence for Moye was invalidated, according to the Superior Court panel. Judge Carl A. Solano wrote the opinion for the Court.

In the appeal of his sentence, Moye claimed he is eligible for less than a life sentence because his age “made him more impulsive and vulnerable to family and peer pressure than an adult,” Solano wrote in his opinion.