NM inmate wins court fight in 1979 murder case

Posted at: 05/13/2013 3:10 PM
Updated at: 05/13/2013 3:12 PM
By: Barry Massey, The Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The state Supreme Court has ruled that a Las Cruces man will be eligible for parole later this year for the killing of his wife and three stepchildren in 1979.

The court decided Monday that Clifton Skidgel is eligible for parole in September, after serving 10 years of a second sentence of life imprisonment.

Skidgel was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in 1980, after pleading guilty to murdering his wife and three of her children.

Skidgel was paroled in 2003 on the first life sentence and began serving the second.

The Supreme Court said his parole eligibility was wrongly calculated. There were confusing changes in law in 1977 and 1980, requiring inmates to serve 30 years rather than 10 years before being eligible for parole on a life sentence.

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