JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday to uphold a McDonald County Circuit Court decision to deny re-opening Sheena Eastburn's first-degree murder case.
Eastburn, 37, was convicted of first-degree murder in 1995 for the 1992 death of her estranged husband, Tim Eastburn, and was sentenced to a life term without the chance of probation or parole.
Eastburn's attorney, Kent Gipson, filed a motion in September 2010 requesting a hearing and making a motion to re-open the proceeding "due to abandonment of appointed counsel and to correct a manifest injustice," according to Missouri CaseNet.
In March 2011, the court granted the request to re-open Eastburn's previous proceedings, however, in September 2012, Perigo ruled that the motion to re-open was actually an attempt to file a successive motion, and cited Rule 29.15 (l) which states "the circuit court shall not entertain successive motions."
The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Perigo's ruling.
"Filing a motion to 're-open' does not exist in our rules," the ruling states.
Following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in an Alabama case last year, which said that a life sentence without parole is unconstitutionally cruel for crimes committed before the age of 18, there was speculation that Eastburn's sentence could be lessened.
However, the court did not address that in Eastburn's case.
Authorities said Eastburn set the victim up to be shot by drawing him into the kitchen of his Rocky Comfort home, while Terry Banks and Matthew Myers fired the shots. Banks, charged with first-degree murder, also got life without parole, while Myers was charged with second-degree murder, getting a 67-year sentence and a chance for parole as the result of a plea bargain.