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Weller sentenced to 10 years

Fri, Mar 9th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, February 26, 2001

Lloyd Albert Weller was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Judge Robert Benson in Fillmore County District Court on Thursday, February 22.

As part of a plea bargain agreement, Weller had plead guilty to one count of First Degree Aggravated Robbery stemming from an incident that occurred at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center on July 30.

At that time, Weller was alleged to have physically assaulted his companion, Alicia Reynolds. The victim was choked to unconsciousness and then tied up and abandoned in the woods. Cash and items, including a 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo were taken from her. Weller was later apprehended in Utah.

Weller was arraigned on multiple charges, including attempted murder, kidnapping, assault and theft.

A plea arrangement between Weller and the County Attorney recommended that the court follow the state sentencing guidelines which calls for between 54-62 months in prison. Prior to sentencing, Wellers attorney, Candace Rasmussen, recommended that the court follow the sentencing guidelines.

Some see him (Weller) as evil, and others see him as a loving son, Rasmussen told the court. That (58 months) is a long time in prison and is a reasonable punishment.

A tearful Weller spoke briefly on his own behalf. I am sorry for what I have done. I am not really a bad person, he told the judge. This was a bad time in my life.

In sentencing the defendant to 10 years, Judge Benson said that the upward departure from the guidelines was justified by the cruelty with which the victim was treated.

The victim was beaten viciously, choked unconscious; tied up and left for dead in the woods; her body dragged off the trail, Benson said. There was no attempt to notify anyone, even anonymously, to help her

Benson acknowledged that the upward sentencing may be viewed as a violation of the plea bargain. But Benson noted that the guidelines allow for discretionary upward sentencing.

Weller, who is expected to begin serving his sentence with the Commissioner of Corrections immediately, has the right to appeal the upward sentencing.

In addition to the ten years in prison, Weller was ordered to pay $900 restitution to the victim, as well as any personal costs she may have accrued. Weller is also responsible for paying his court appointed attorney fees.

The defendant was ordered not to have any communication with the victim, either directly or indirectly, while his sentence is being carried out.

Weller will be required to serve at least two-thirds of his sentence in prison, and would be eligible to serve the balance of his sentence under supervised release should he follow the administrative rules of his imprisonment.

Following sentencing, De-fense Attorney Candace Rasmussen said that her client was very disappointed.

He is 18 and will spend the next seven to eight years of his life in prison, Rasmussen told the Journal. I dont know that long prison sentences help anyone.

By John Torgrimson

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