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Judge is Weighing New Hampshire Killer’s Bid for Freedom

Eric Windhurst fatally shot a man in 1985

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A New Hampshire judge says he'll rule at a later date after hearing from a convicted killer on his bid to have his sentenced reduced to the 10 years he has already served.

Eric Windhurst was 17 when he fatally shot a friend's stepfather, Danny Paquette, in 1985, after the friend told him Paquette had sexually abused her.

Windhurst pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2006 and was sentenced to 15 to 36 years in prison.

Paquette's stepdaughter, Melanie Cooper, provided information leading to Windhurst's arrest in 2005. She served a 15-month sentence for hindering apprehension.

Windhurst apologized during Thursday's lengthy hearing in a packed Merrimack County courtroom but did not look at Paquette's family members as he spoke. He also made no reference to Cooper, who did not attend.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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