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Judge Delays Resentencing of Avon Man's Killer

Jamaal Coltherst was one of two men convicted of killing Avon resident Kyle Holden, but because he was a juvenile when he committed the crime, his sentence is under review.

The resentencing of a man in prison for killing a former Avon resident in East Hartford has been delayed a month.

Jamaal Coltherst was sentenced with life imprisonment without parole after he and Carl Johnson murdered Kyle Holden, then 30.

His public defender, John Walkley – who was appointed to the case in August and did not represent Coltherst for the original trial – said that the case is back in court because of Coltherst's capital felony sentence of life without the possibility of release. Coltherst was under 18 when he committed the crime and a recent United States Supreme Court ruling reinstates the parole option for juvenile murder convicts.

In this case, Coltherst – who The Hartford Courant reports was 17 when he murdered Holden – is eligible for resentencing because of a June United States Supreme Court ruling prohibiting judges from sentencing juveniles convicted of homicides to life in jail without parole.

Walkley said that he asked for a continuance at Coltherst's Wednesday court appearance so that he could bring in an expert to talk about the development of the juvenile brain.

The Courant
reported Wednesday that the testimony serves the purpose of showing whether Coltherst's brain could have been completely developed at at the young age he murdered Holden.

Walkley said that Coltherst's case is not the only one under review for resentencing because of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Coltherst's next appearance in Hartford Superior Court for resentencing is Feb. 21.

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