Court says judge erred in appeal of Hartman case

Nov 17, 2012 -- 2:52pm


- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Court of Appeals ruled that one of the four men convicted of killing teenager John Hartman 15 years ago should get a new hearing on his claim that he had an ineffective attorney. The court determined that Superior Court Judge Ben Esch erred in conducting his own research and then using the research in part to deny Eugene Vent's appeal. The ruling does not ensure that Vent will get a new trial, but it does give him a new hearing to pursue one. The 15-year-old Hartman was found beaten and stomped in downtown Fairbanks. He died at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital after lingering in a coma. The four men were convicted in 1999 and are serving sentences of 33 to 79 years in a Colorado prison. 

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