Laramie, Wy –
A Laramie district court judge has denied a convicted murders request to have the ability to determine whether or not he can appeal his two life terms for the murder of Matthew Shepard. Judge Jeff Donnell denied Russell Hendersons request for post conviction relief, saying that he was not denied constitutional safeguards. Henderson says his trial attorney did not consult with him concerning appeal options after he was sentenced to a pair of life terms after pleading guilty for his role in the murder of Shepard. But Donnell says Henderson had never indicated a desire to appeal in the time frame allotted him following his plea. Attorneys for the state contend that Public Defenders in the state are not required to discuss possible appeal options following a sentencing. Henderson's current Attorney Tim Newcomb wanted 30 days so that Henderson could consider whether or not he would appeal, possibly setting the stage for sentence reduction motion. With Donnell's denial, Newcomb has 15 days to ask the Supreme court to look at the case.