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Hudson suspect admits guilt in plea agreement

Sep 20, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

One of the five co-defendants accused in the killings of a couple at a Hudson home in November admitted her guilt Thursday.

As part of a plea agreement filed in May, Samantha June Hanway, 21, of Ethete, entered guilty pleas to two counts of aiding and abetting second-degree murder in the deaths of Eric Clinton Likes, 42, and his girlfriend, Elva Charlotte Quiver, 20.

The felony charges each carry a prison sentence of between 20 years and life. However, if the court accepts the agreement, Hanway faces a maximum of between 25 and 50 years in prison. Other charges against Hanway will also be dismissed.

Sentencing will be at a later date after a presentencing investigation report is complete.

Judge Norman E. Young presided over Thursday's hearing in Lander's 9th District Court. Young told Hanway that he didn't see a reason why he would not accept the agreement, but wanted to review the report.

If the judge denies the deal, Hanway will have the right to withdraw her guilty pleas and the state will be able to prosecute on all charges.

Hanway was arrested in March on four counts of first-degree murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, one count of first-degree arson and two counts of aggravated robbery.

Under the agreement, Hanway on Thursday was required to give a complete and factual account about what happened during the Nov. 15 robbery and killings of Likes and Quiver at the couple's home.

She also had to disclose the events surrounding the subsequent Nov. 17 house fire that investigators say was set in an attempt to cover up the murders.

The agreement, if accepted, stipulates that Hanway will testify at court proceedings related to any co-defendants in the case or any other proceedings required of her.

Her four co-defendants are her brother Laziur Stephen Hanway Jr., 19, of Ethete; her husband Joseph Jude Jenkins, 20, of Arapahoe; her cousin Ryan Blake Hanway, 22, of Riverton; and Jude Blackburn, 16, of Riverton.

Under the plea deal, Samantha Hanway agrees to be sentenced after the court's final determinations for the other four suspects in the case.

If she stops cooperating at any time before sentencing, the deal will be voided and she will not be allowed to withdraw her plea.

Young continued a $500,000 cash-only bond for Hanway, who remains in custody of the Fremont County Detention Center.

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