Notorious Casino Child Killer Jeremy Strohmeyer Resentencing Request Denied

Posted on: July 24, 2018, 09:00h. 

Last updated on: July 24, 2018, 01:30h.

In 1997, aged 18, Jeremy Strohmeyer murdered a seven-year-old girl in the restroom of a Nevada casino, a crime that shocked America. On Monday, a 37-year-old Strohmeyer was told by a Nevada judge that his life sentence was not disproportionate for the crime.

Caption 2: Jeremy Strohmeyer
Jeremy Strohmeyer, now 38, at a court hearing in May. Twenty years ago, he murdered Sherrice Iverson in the women’s restroom at the Primadonna Casino in Primm Nevada. (Image: Kevin Cannon/Twitter)

Strohmeyer had asked to be resentenced, citing his “immaturity” at the time of the murder and claiming prosecutors had pressured him into accepting a plea deal that spared him the death penalty.

But District Judge Douglas Smith said Monday that Strohmeyer’s actions 20 years ago “were not the result of impulsive adolescent behavior, but instead were the result of pre-existing motives and well-thought-out fantasies.”

The Bad Samaritan

In the early hours of May 25, 1997, Strohmeyer followed seven-year-old Sherrice Iverson into the women’s restroom at the Primadonna Resort and Casino — now the Primm Valley Casino — in Primm, Nevada, where he sexually assaulted and strangled her, before breaking her neck.

His friend, David Cash Jnr, witnessed part of the crime but failed to report it, leading the press to label him “the bad Samaritan.” Cash was not prosecuted for any offense related to the murder but his inaction lead to the passage of the Sherrice Iverson bill in Nevada, which made it a crime to fail to report a suspicion that a child is being abused or assaulted.

The crime caused Nevada’s casinos to increase security in their arcades and prompted questions about whether children should be allowed inside casinos at all.

Immaturity or Wickedness?

Strohmeyer’s lawyers had hoped that the testimony of Temple University professor Laurence Steinberg might sway the judge into reconsidering his sentence, along with a recent US Supreme Court decision that said prisoners serving life sentences for a murder committed as juveniles should be given a chance of parole.

Steinberg, who specializes in adolescent psychological development, said during a hearing in May that “young people are more impetuous and impulsive than adults, so they’re more likely to make decisions without thinking about them or thinking about future consequences,” according to the Las Vegas-Review Journal.

The judge rejected the opinion in relation to the Strohmeyer case, citing Strohmeyer’s subsequent use of racist language to describe his victim — Iverson was African-American — and child pornography found on his computer, as evidence that the crime was not the result of impetuous immaturity but one of premeditation. He emphasized that Strohmeyer was eighteen and was tried as an adult.

Tom Pitaro, Strohmeyer’s attorney, told LVRJ he plans to appeal the decision to the Nevada Supreme Court. The prosecution has said that should Strohmeyer be granted a resenting it would seek the death penalty.