Cowley County District Judge Jim Pringle will consider a defense motion for a new trial before Justin Thurber's sentencing Friday morning. Thurber was found guilty last month of capital murder in the January 2007 death of Sanderholm. Jurors also recommended the death penalty.
Pringle does not have to follow the jury's death-penalty recommendation, but the only other sentence would be life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The defense claims in its motion that the court should not have allowed Thurber's past to be presented as evidence during the trial, and that Thurber was illegally arrested.
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