Men in Tucson murder cases to get new sentences

Posted at 7:16 AM, Mar 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-29 10:16:12-04

Two Arizona inmates serving life prison terms on murder convictions for separate Tucson killings committed in the 1990s when they were juveniles will get new sentencings.

The state Court of Appeals' ruling Monday says Gregory Nidez Valencia Jr. and Joey Lee Healer are entitled to new sentencings under a January U.S. Supreme Court decision in a Louisiana case.

The high court's decision says natural-life sentences imposed on juveniles are unconstitutional unless the offenses indicate permanent incorrigibility.

The Arizona court said the Supreme Court ruling applies retroactively because it significantly changes Arizona law.

Now 37, Valencia was one of two teens convicted of killing a neighborhood activity who spoke of calling a police about a bicycle theft.

Healer, now 38, was convicted of killing a man for his truck.