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Juvenile killer resentenced for trooper's death

Marcus Fernandez, who was 15 years old when he shot a Colorado State Trooper, will spend about 10 more years in prison followed by 10 years of parole.
Credit: Colorado Dept. of Corrections
Marcus Fernandez

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — A man who was sentenced to life in prison for killing a Colorado State trooper when he was a teenager in 1992 has been resentenced, according to the 5th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

Marcus Fernandez, 41, was 15 years old when he shot CSP Technician Lyle Wohlers on Nov. 4, 1992 along Interstate 70 near Georgetown. Wohlers died from his injuries the following day, the release states.

Wohlers pulled over Fernandez and his accomplice T.J. White. Fernandez was driving a car that had been stolen from a home in Douglas County.

Wohlers put Fernandez in his patrol car. He radioed dispatch that "things were just not adding up" after Fernandez gave him a fake name and the plate on the car didn't match the registration. Wohlers then called for back up, the release states.

Fernandez pulled out a revolver and shot Wohlers in the head.

Fernandez and White drove away in the stolen car and ditched it, along with the gun, in Georgetown.

The pair were caught along I-70 with other juveniles who they called to help them escape, the release states.

The trial was moved from Clear Creek County to Summit County for pretrial publicity concerns, the district attorney's office said.

A jury sentenced Fernandez to life without the possibility of parole in 1993.

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In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that juveniles cannot be denied the opportunity to parole. In 2016, the Colorado legislature passed a bill, that was signed into law, that established a resentencing process in order to comply with the Supreme Court's decision.

District Court Chief Judge Mark Thompson resentenced Fernandez to 46 years in prison. Thompson also handed down a 16-year sentence for stealing the car. That sentence will be served concurrently, the district attorney's office said.

According to the release, Fernandez will spend about 10 more years in prison followed by 10 years parole.

The new sentence counts the time Fernandez has already spent in prison.

When passing those "In Memory Of" signs, you might wonder -- what was their story? The Colorado State Patrol needed a law passed to be able to put up signs remembering their troopers. Twenty seven have been killed since CSP's inception in 1935.

The district attorney's office said Chief Judge Thompson received letters in support of the original sentence from across Colorado. The letters were sent to Thompson from by Wohlers' family, friends, and former colleagues.

You can learn more about Technician Wohlers here

RELATED: How CSP is memorializing troopers killed on Colorado roads

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