By Hannah Adams and Helen Greenia
SANTA ANA, CA – Louis Montes was convicted for the special-circumstance murder of April Peake that he committed when he was 17 years old—that was about 18 years ago.
During the initial timeline of this case, Montes was sentenced to life without parole (LWOP).
However, based on the verdict of the U.S. Supreme Court Miller v. Alabama (2012) case, the California Supreme Court decided to revisit the cases of juveniles who were sentenced to LWOP, entitling the young felons to a new hearing regarding their offenses.
As a result, Montes has the chance to present more information about specific conditions that were relevant when the crime was committed.
So, in light of the California Supreme Court’s decision, Montes petitioned to recall his sentence in accordance with Penal Code section 1170(d)(2). While the court granted the petition and recalled Montes’s sentence, he was resentenced to LWOP.
In Montes’ appeal, he claimed the superior court abused its power during the resentencing due to utilizing the incorrect legal regulation. He argued that the court should have brought this issue to a juvenile court for a transfer/fitness hearing in relation to Proposition 57.
The court agreed that the resentencing hearing needed to be amended. Ultimately, the court adjusted the sentencing for Montes and is allowing a transfer/fitness hearing in the juvenile court.