California Man Found Guilty In 1997 Rape, Murder of 7-Year-Old Black Girl Asks for Parole
Twenty-one years after the brutal rape and murder of 7-year-old Sherrice Iverson, attorneys for her killer are asking that their client be paroled.
Jeremy Strohmeyer was 18 years old when he confessed to molesting Iverson and choking her to death inside a bathroom stall at the Las Vegas Primadonna Casino, now called the Primm Valley Resort, in May 1997, Fox 5 Vegas reported. Police found the little girl raped and murdered in one of the handicap stalls.
“The innocence of the victim, the brutality of the murder, and the cavalier attitude of the killer,” retired Metro detective Phil Ramos recalled of the incident. “I still remember taking the confession from him and he described in brutal detail how he molested little Sherrice.”
Strohmeyer, now 39, pleaded guilty to the murder in order to avoid the death penalty and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole, according to the news station. He returned to court Friday, June 1, where his defense lawyers argued his brain was not fully developed at the time of the killing and that he should be re-sentenced.
One of his lawyers, Ozzie Fumo, also argued that factors in Strohmeyer’s in childhood, like his mother’s mental illness and him being put up for adoption, negatively affected his brain development. The lawyers said they now want their client to have the possibility of parole.
Ramos refuted their claims.
“He was not immature,” he said of Strohmeyer. “He’s a cold-blooded killer and he should have been put to death for this crime.”
A judge is expected to make a decision in Strohmeyer’s case within three months, Fox 5 Vegas reported. The convicted killer has since apologized to Iverson’s family for his crime.
“I want to ask for their forgiveness, and I want them to know I’d give anything to trade places with Sherrice,” Strohmeyer wrote in a letter to The Las Vegas Review-Journal last year. “I just want them to know I am sorry, more sorry than words can ever say. I wish nothing but peace and good lives for them wherein their lives are not defined by this horrible tragedy as mine has been.”