Phillip Sam Resentenced for Murder He Committed When He Was 16
This story has been corrected to reflect that Sam received 10-20 years in prison for the aggravated assaults, not 15-30. The error was due to incorrect information being provided to KGAB Radio.
A 20-year-old Cheyenne man who was 16 when he fatally shot another teenager in the head at point-blank range was resentenced Monday in Laramie County District Court.
Phillip Sam was convicted in August 2015 of first-degree murder and 12 counts of aggravated assault in the October 2014 killing of Tyler Burns and was sentenced in January 2016 to life with the possibility of parole after 25 years, plus three consecutive sentences of 9-10 years.
"I know you have to do what you have to do because you're made to do it," Tyler Burns' mother, Robin Burns, told Judge Thomas Campbell. "(But) this is cruel and unusual punishment, what we have to go through."
"I don't mean to minimize it because it's math," said Campbell, who recognized nothing he did would change that victimization and resentenced Sam to life with the possibility of parole after 25 years, plus two consecutive sentences of 5-10 years.
The new ruling means Sam will be eligible for parole in 35 years rather than 52.