For the first time during the whole trial, Martin Edmo Ish was allowed to make a statement before the sentencing came down.
“I’m sorry, mom,” Ish said after thanking his family and attorneys, maintaining his claim of innocence in the 2009 beating death of Eugene Lorne Red Elk in front of Duffy’s Bar.
In April, Ish stood trial, facing second degree murder charges. But, the jury found him guilty of the lesser charge, voluntary manslaughter.
On Monday morning, Judge Nye imposed the maximum sentence, which is 15 years behind bars with 10 years fixed, and five years indeterminate.
Nye based his sentence on Ish’s long, violent record, stating the probability of him repeating another violent crime would be possible if he is not held in prison.
“I should put you away for life, but I do not have the opportunity to do that,” Nye said, drawing on the fact that the maximum sentence for this conviction is capped at 15 years.
“The bottom line is, you killed another human being. You took him away from his own life and his loved ones…you’ve been in prison before, but that has not deterred you…I think you know how serious this crime is since no one, not even you is arguing against some sort of prison sentence.”
Red Elk’s longtime girlfriend of 14 years, Jeani Walesch, made a tearful statement saying, “Ish took Lorne’s life because he was a jealous, coward…he not only took his (Lorne’s) life, but mine. He was the man I was supposed to grow old with.”
During the sentencing, Ish’s attorneys asked for a retrial, claiming Ish never received a fair trial.
The defense listed a litany of reasons behind this, including: how a portion of the Duffy’s surveillance tape was partially missing while it was allegedly being held in evidence; how one key witness, Heather Davis, was unable to pick Ish out of the initial lineup, and how there is still no evidence tying Ish to the scene of the crime.
The prosecution reminded the court of the testimony made by Ish’s cousin and witness who brought this case back to light in 2015, Jennifer Teton, who told the court back in April Ish confessed to her he “blasted” Red Elk the night before.
Judge Nye will make his decision as to whether or not Ish will be granted another trial after Monday’s sentencing.
Initially, the prosecution asked for 12 years fixed, with three years determinate, running consecutively with his parole.