A federal appeals court wants lawyers representing inmate Dale Eaton and the state of Wyoming to address whether he still faces a possible death sentence stemming from his murder conviction in the killing of a Montana woman.
A judge last fall overturned Eaton’s death sentence in the 1988 rape and killing of 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmell of Billings.
The appeals court noted that the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office never contested the judge’s order giving the state 120 days to set a new death penalty sentencing proceeding for Eaton. That deadline passed in March.
The judge said in his order that Eaton would remain locked up for life if the state didn’t pursue a new sentencing hearing.
Lawyers for both sides weren’t commenting.