Victim: Jolene Stuedemann, 17
Murderer: Tony Allen Roman Nose, 17
Crime date: July 10-11, 2000
Crime location: Woodbury, Minnesota
Summary of the crime
Roman Nose, age 17 and 10 months, raped Jolene and stabbed her to death with a screwdriver.
Jolene, age 17, was vacationing with her family in Northern Minnesota when she was brutally raped and murdered by Roman Nose, also 17. Roman Nose, who was two months away from turning 18, left his group home without permission and went to the home of Andy Reiman, Jolene’s boyfriend. The three teenagers drank beer and watched T.V. At some point the gathering turned deadly. Roman Nose raped Jolene, beat her, crammed newspaper into her mouth and throat to stifle her screams, and stabbed her 29 times with a screwdriver.
At the time of the rape and murder, Roman Nose was living in a group foster home called the Sherwood Home in Woodbury. He had a long violent history including an 1999 incident where he attacked a man with a baseball bat. He also violated curfew and skipped out on school. He often left Sherwood Home without permission.
Roman Nose was convicted of first-degree murder while committing criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced to life in prison without parole (LWOP). But after Miller v. Alabama he appealed his sentence. The Stuedemanns found themselves in yet another legal nightmare. A judge resentenced the killer to life with parole eligibility after 30 years. The idea of their daughter’s rapist and murderer being released terrified the Stuedemanns, as they believed he would kill again. They also were concerned with the possibility of the rapist and killer targeting Jolene’s mom Jeanne or her sister Jessica. Prosecutors appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court on grounds that the judge didn’t allow a hearing to determine whether a reduced sentence was justified. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Miller did not apply retroactively and reinstated Roman Nose’s LWOP sentence. Roman Nose appealed to SCOTUS but they declined to hear his case. In 2014 it was reported that Minnesota Department of Corrections records showed Roman Nose had committed over 15 violations while at the Oak Park Heights maximum security prison, including disorderly conduct, disobeying direct orders, and assaulting another inmate.
Jolene’s parents James and Jeanne sued Roman Nose civilly. They also sued R-Home of Woodbury, Inc. which was the operator of Sherwood Home, the shareholders and officers of R-Home, and Roman Nose’s psychologist, arguing that their negligence led to their daughter’s death. The court found that the defendants charged with negligence did not have duty to control Roman nose and that their alleged negligence was not the cause of Jolene’s murder. It dismissed the lawsuit. The appellate court affirmed the lower court’s decision.
STATE of Minnesota, Respondent, v. Tony Allen ROMAN NOSE, Appellant.
Appellant Tony Allen Roman Nose was convicted in Washington County of first-degree murder while committing or attempting to commit criminal sexual conduct and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the death of Jolene Stuedemann. Upon review, we stayed the appeal, retained jurisdiction, and remanded the case to the district court for a hearing on whether the PCR-STR method of testing DNA has gained general acceptance within the relevant scientific community. State v. Roman Nose, 649 N.W.2d 815, 823 (Minn.2002).
On remand, the district court issued its findings of fact and concluded in its order that PCR-STR testing is generally accepted in the relevant scientific community as reliable. In Roman Nose’s appeal, now before this court, he concedes the general acceptance issue given our recent holding in State v. Traylor, 656 N.W.2d 885 (Minn.2003). We address the remaining issues raised by Roman Nose in his initial appeal as well as additional arguments presented following remand. Specifically, in his initial appeal, Roman Nose asserted that the district court erred when it admitted: (1) DNA evidence; (2) random match probability statistics; (3) testimony that Roman Nose could have conducted his own DNA testing; and (4) a picture found on Roman Nose’s bedroom wall. Roman Nose further argued that the prosecutor committed misconduct by misstating testimony and by misleading the jury about inferences that could be drawn from the evidence. Roman Nose now also asserts that the DNA evidence, even if admissible, was presented in a misleading and prejudicial manner. We affirm.
Editor’s note: This story originally appeared June 15, 2001.
Jurors will begin deliberating today in the murder trial of Tony Allen Roman Nose after attorneys recap their cases in closing arguments.
Roman Nose, the only defense witness, on Thursday told jurors what happened the night Jolene Stuedemann was murdered and said he is telling the truth this time.
His defense in the Woodbury slaying: He discovered Stuedemann’s body in her family’s home after someone else killed her.
He said under oath that he had earlier lied to friends and authorities out of fear about how he spent July 10 and 11.
“I kind of got scared. I had blood on me, my Walkman was there, I’d used drugs with her and had sex with her. How am I going to explain that?”
Defense attorney Jeff Olson had Roman Nose, 18, describe the evening of partying in Andy Reiman’s home with Reiman and Stuedemann, who were a couple. His recollection differed from Reiman’s testimony earlier this week.
Roman Nose said he had marijuana and cocaine with Stuedemann, but Reiman denied that Stuedemann used drugs at his home that night. Autopsy results indicated cocaine in Stuedemann’s body, without specifying when she took it.
After Reiman had sex with Stuedemann, he passed out, Roman Nose said. That’s when, Roman Nose said, he had sex with Stuedemann.
Reiman said that he did not pass out that evening and that Roman Nose and Stuedemann did not have sex at his home.
Defense attorney Jeff Olson read excerpts of Roman Nose letters intercepted by jail officials.
“I know I did wrong. Why bother counting the days or feeling sad because I’m in jail,” he read, and asked Roman Nose to explain.
“I was feeling guilty. I found the body and I didn’t tell anyone. I could have called the cops and maybe they could have saved her,” he said.
“Did you rape Jolene Stuedemann?” Olson asked Roman Nose. “Did you kill Jolene Stuedemann?”
He replied “no” each time.
John Fristik, assistant Washington County attorney, led Roman Nose through the same events, often using information Roman Nose had given police that contradicted his current testimony. Fristik declined to have Roman Nose’s former cellmates testify.
At one point, Roman Nose described kneeling on one knee near Stuedemann’s body. Then Fristik held up the jeans the teen wore that night, showing blood on the front of both legs and the back of one.
“You got that from getting down on one knee?” Fristik asked.
“Could be,” Roman Nose said.
Earlier in the testimony the teen summarized one problem the jury will grapple with as they decide whether to convict him of Stuedemann’s murder: “I can’t prove my innocence. All they’ve got to go on is my word.”
Relatives are upset that a recent Supreme Court ruling could eventually free the teen who killed Jolene Stuedemann.
By Callie Sacarelos Star Tribune MARCH 30, 2014
Clasping his big hands in anger, Jim Stuedemann talked about the rage he felt 13 years ago when he saw his daughter’s killer in the courtroom.
“I stared daggers at him. My one great regret in life is that I didn’t kill him the first time I saw him,” Stuedemann said of Tony Roman Nose, who was 17 when he stabbed and raped 18-year-old Jolene Stuedemann in a vicious attack in her family’s Woodbury home in 2000.
“I thought, ‘I could take care of this now.’ My eyes must have lit up or something because as I watched, the bailiff to my right looked at me and shook his head no.”
Roman Nose, convicted of first-degree murder while committing criminal sexual conduct, was sentenced to life in prison without hope of parole — or so the Stuedemann family thought.
Now, because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Jim and Jeanne Stuedemann and their surviving daughter, Jessica, find themselves living the nightmare all over again.
In a swift change of legal fate, Roman Nose could leave prison after he serves 30 years, in 2031. The thought terrifies the Stuedemanns, who believe he will kill again and that he will target Jeanne or Jessica.
“We don’t believe that he should ever be let out,” Jim Stuedemann said. “No family should ever have to go through what we went through. As long as there’s a chance that he could reoffend, just having the potential is nerve-wracking.”
A legal quandary
The Roman Nose case re-emerged in 2012, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller vs. Alabama that the Eighth Amendment prohibits mandatory sentences for juveniles who commit murder and that judges should decide whether life sentences should include parole.
About 2,500 teenage murderers nationwide are sentenced to prison without parole.
After a Washington County district judge resentenced Roman Nose to prison with the possibility of release after 30 years, the county attorney’s office appealed the decision to the Minnesota Supreme Court on grounds that the judge didn’t allow a hearing to determine whether a reduced sentence was justified.
A second legal question, said County Attorney Pete Orput, is why retroactive sentences should be granted even though the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t address that issue. Orput solidly backs the family’s position.
“If I take someone else’s life, do I get the opportunity to enjoy mine?” he said last week. “The victims’ families are relegated to a life of sadness. They’ve been given their own prison sentence. When people say, ‘We shouldn’t put children in prison,’ I say, ‘He didn’t hesitate to put other people in their own psychological prison.’ “
Roman Nose, now 31, is one of eight teenage murderers in Minnesota who went to prison before the Miller ruling and could be affected by it. Collectively, they killed 10 people.
Timothy Chambers was 17 when he rammed a stolen car into the squad car of a Rice County deputy, killing him. After Miller, he appealed to the state Supreme Court for a reduced sentence but was denied. But the Roman Nose appeal raises questions about whether the Chambers ruling would apply to all types of first-degree murder.
Meanwhile, two bills before the Legislature seek to mitigate state law requiring prison without parole for teenagers who commit first-degree murder. Neither has gained much traction.
“The thinking is that juveniles don’t have a fully developed mind and they’re prone to impulsive and stupid acts and that should be factored in,” Orput said. “But I think the bigger question is, where is that line between immature and mature? What about two months before you’re 18? Two weeks before you’re 18? Is there something magic about the number 18? …
“Can someone, a kid or adult, do something so heinous that they forfeit their right to be a part of society? I think that’s the big question.”
Torture and nightmares
Jim and Jeanne Stuedemann were vacationing in northern Minnesota in July 2000 when Jessica found Jolene’s body. She had been stabbed 29 times with a screwdriver and raped. Roman Nose crammed newspaper into her mouth and throat to stifle her screams.
Jolene and Roman Nose were students at an alternative school in Cottage Grove, but knew each other only as acquaintances. During a recent hearing before the state Supreme Court, public defender Steven Russett said Roman Nose was “immature and suffered from poor judgment” when he committed the crime, and noted a dysfunctional childhood and fetal alcohol struggles. Russett couldn’t be reached for comment.
Minnesota Department of Corrections records show that Roman Nose has committed 15 violations at Oak Park Heights prison, including disorderly conduct, disobeying direct orders and assaulting another inmate. Some violations were serious enough that he served time in segregation.
Jim Stuedemann recalled what the medical examiner told him during the trial.
“He said very rarely does he have autopsies with that amount of injuries that were suffered,” Stuedemann said, his eyes filling with tears. “He said it was borderline torture. I asked him if she died quickly and he said no.”
Liz Hare, president of the National Organization of Victims of Juvenile Murderers, said it’s critically important for families to know that killers will remain in custody and never threaten anyone again.
“There’s unnecessary suffering caused by Miller vs. Alabama,” said Hare, who lives in Minnesota. “They have to relive that whole experience all over again. There are hundreds of people who will have to face the offender again.”
Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, director of Marsy’s Law for Illinois, a group that advocates for the rights of crime victims, said the law should take care of victims’ families more than teenage murderers.
“All of this focus is on the killer, the poor killer, the young killer,” she said. “There aren’t any words to tell you how bad it is. It’s retraumatizing. It’s torture. It’s a nightmare. There aren’t strong-enough words. To never have any legal finality in the case and have to keep revisiting it is nothing short of a torturous nightmare.”
Jim Stuedemann said he wishes he could post Jolene’s photo in Roman Nose’s cell to remind him of her “bright smile and sparkling eyes every day and know what he took.”
Of Roman Nose, he added: “He should never have hope.”
Staff writer Kevin Giles contributed to this article.
Callie Sacarelos is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for the Star Tribune.
Tony Allen Roman Nose will die in prison under a Minnesota Supreme Court decision issued Wednesday.
In June 2001, Roman Nose was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for the first-degree murder of Jolene Stuedemann, 18, who was raped and stabbed 29 times with a screwdriver in her Woodbury home July 11, 2000.
Roman Nose was two months shy of his 18th birthday when he killed Stuedemann after a party at her boyfriend’s home. And in June 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sentencing laws requiring juveniles to spend the rest of their lives in prison for murder convictions were unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.
Now 31, Roman Nose appealed his sentence three months later. A Washington County judge last year applied the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to Roman Nose’s case and resentenced him to life with possible release after 30 years, or about 17 years from now.
But the Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday reaffirmed an earlier ruling and said the U.S. high court’s decision does not apply retroactively to cases like Roman Nose’s.
The state Supreme Court reinstated Roman Nose’s original conviction of life without possibility of parole.
“I’m very happy and relieved that the state Supreme Court said he should be in prison forever,” Jim Stuedemann, the father of Jolene Stuedemann, said Wednesday.
After his daughter was killed, Stuedemann became an advocate for return of the death penalty in Minnesota. He said that if Roman Nose ever got out of prison, “there’s no doubt in my mind he’d kill again.”
In its ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court did not prohibit all sentences of life without parole on juveniles. But it said those sentences could not be required without giving a judge or a jury a chance to consider mitigating circumstances, including the age, immaturity and family and home environment of the offender.
Roman Nose argued that his mitigating circumstances included a “pathological background,” including “physical and sexual abuse and evidence of a ‘dysfunctional and violent’ personal history,” according to the state Supreme Court ruling.
But the state high court noted that unlike the case that the U.S. Supreme Court decided involving two 14-year-old killers, Roman Nose was almost a legal adult when he killed Stuedemann.
“Thus any immaturity, impetuosity, or failure to appreciate risks and consequences that was due to Roman Nose’s age was not appreciably greater than that of an average 18-year-old,” Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea wrote for the court.
Gildea noted that it could be difficult now, years after the murder, to evaluate mitigating circumstances of Roman Nose’s age and life history and home environment, and that Roman Nose should not get a lighter sentence because of that.
“In light of Roman Nose’s age, the brutal nature of his crime, and the overwhelming evidence of his guilt, such a windfall would undermine the public confidence in the judicial system,” Gildea wrote.
At least four other state supreme courts have ruled that the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision is retroactive and that sentences of people serving life without parole sentences for crimes committed while they were juveniles need to be reconsidered, according to Perry Moriearty, associate professor at the University of Minnesota School of Law .
John Stuart, Minnesota’s chief public defender, said seven other people in Minnesota besides Roman Nose have been sentenced to life without parole for crimes they committed while juveniles. Stuart said that under the latest Minnesota Supreme Court rulings, they will die in prison unless the U.S. Supreme Court declares that its 2012 ruling should be applied retroactively or the Minnesota Legislature changes the law to abolish life without parole sentences for juveniles and makes that retroactive.
In a concurring opinion, Justice G. Barry Anderson wrote that the disagreement between states on whether the U.S. Supreme Court ruling applies retroactively to people serving life sentences for crimes they committed while young is resulting in “a significant disparity in outcome for individuals in a similarly situated class.”
“Put more bluntly, some defendants, after decades of incarceration, will have at least an opportunity for release, and others will certainly die in prison,” Anderson wrote. The difference will depend on when the crime took place and in what state, according to Anderson.
“If Mr. Roman Nose were in Iowa, he would be afforded some sort of resentencing, but not here,” said Moriearty, co-director of the Child Advocacy and Juvenile Justice Clinic, which represents two other people in Minnesota serving life without parole sentences for juvenile-age crimes.
Justice Alan Page dissented, and has said before that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling should be retroactive.
State Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, has written a bill intended to address the issue. It would allow the possibility of parole for juveniles sentenced to life after they have served 20 years.
Latz said the proposed law reflects current thinking in differences in the brains and decision-making abilities of teenagers and adults. He said his bill would apply retroactively to people currently serving life sentences for crimes committed while they were juveniles.
“The theory is, we ought to treat teenagers the same whether they were convicted at a time of relative ignorance in teenage brain science or whether they were convicted today,” Latz said. “None of us is the same person we were 20 years ago. The question is how fundamental is the flaw.”
Moriearty also believes the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually take up the issue of retroactivity of its 2012 ruling.
“I can’t see how they can pass on the question,” she said. “I would say the issue’s not over for Mr. Roman Nose.”
The question presented in this case is whether the postconviction court erred by resentencing respondent Tony Allen Roman Nose to life with the possibility of release after 30 years based on a legal conclusion that the rule announced in Miller v. Alabama, ––– U.S. ––––, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012), applies retroactively to a juvenile whose sentence of life in prison without the possibility of release (LWOR) became final before the Miller rule was announced. Because the postconviction court’s legal conclusion is in direct conflict with Chambers v. State, 831 N.W.2d 311 (Minn.2013), and the circumstances of this case do not warrant granting relief to Roman Nose under our supervisory powers to ensure the fair administration of justice, we reverse the postconviction court’s January 28, 2012 order and reinstate the original sentence of LWOR.
On June 16, 2001, a Washington County jury found Roman Nose guilty of first-degree murder while committing or attempting to commit criminal sexual conduct in the first or second degree and first-degree premeditated murder for the murder of Jolene Studemann in July 2000. Roman Nose was 17 years and 10 months old when he committed the crime. After the district court convicted Roman Nose under Minn.Stat. § 609.185(a)(2) (2012) (criminal-sexual-conduct murder), the court sentenced him to LWOR under the mandatory sentencing scheme in Minn.Stat. § 9.106, subd. 2(1) (2012). On direct appeal, Roman Nose did not challenge his sentence. Instead, he challenged his conviction, asserting that the district court and the prosecutor made several errors that entitled him to a new trial. We affirmed his conviction on August 21, 2003. State v. Roman Nose, 667 N.W.2d 386 (Minn.2003).1
Nearly 9 years later, on June 25, 2012, the United States Supreme Court held in Miller v. Alabama that sentencing a juvenile to LWOR without consideration of age and other relevant age related characteristics violated the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. ––– U.S. ––––, 132 S.Ct. at 2475, 183 L.Ed.2d 407. Based on that holding, the Court struck down sentencing schemes in Alabama and Arkansas that imposed a mandatory sentence of LWOR on juveniles. Id. In a footnote, the Miller Court cited a number of similar sentencing schemes, including Minn.Stat. § 609.106, subd.-the statute under which Roman Nose was sentenced. Miller, –––U.S. ––––, 132 S.Ct. at 2473 n. 13, 183 L.Ed.2d 407. The Miller Court did not, however, categorically prohibit LWOR sentences for juveniles; rather, the Court required that before imposing such sentences, “a judge or jury must have the opportunity to consider mitigating circumstances before imposing the harshest possible penalty for juveniles.” Id. at ––––, 132 S.Ct. at 2475. Among the factors to be considered are the juvenile’s “immaturity, impetuosity, and failure to appreciate risks and consequences.” Id. at ––––, 132 S.Ct. at 2468.
Three months after the United States Supreme Court decided Miller, Roman Nose filed a petition for postconviction relief in Washington County, arguing that the sentence imposed on him violated the Eighth Amendment. Petitions for postconviction relief generally must be filed within 2 years of the appellate court’s disposition of the petitioner’s direct appeal. Minn.Stat. § 590.01, subd. 4(a) (2012). But defendants whose convictions became final before August 1, 2005, such as Roman Nose, had “two years after the effective date of [the] act to file a petition for postconviction relief.” See Act of June 2, 2005, ch. 136, art. 14, § 13, 2005 Minn. Laws 901, 1098. Because Roman Nose’s petition was filed over 7 years after the effective date of the act, it was untimely under Minn.Stat. § .01, subd. 4(a). Roman Nose argued, however, that his petition was not time barred by Minn.Stat. § 590.01, subd. 4(a), because it fell under the exception for those who assert a new interpretation of federal law by the United States Supreme Court that retroactively applies to the petitioner’s case, see Minn.Stat. § 590.01, subd. 4(b)(3) (2012).2
The postconviction court concluded that Roman Nose’s petition was not time barred because Miller announced a new interpretation of federal constitutional law by the United States Supreme Court that applied retroactively to Roman Nose.3 Based on that conclusion, the postconviction court granted Roman Nose’s petition for postconviction relief and resentenced him to life in prison with the possibility of release after 30 years.
The State appealed to our court on March 18, 2013. At that time, we had heard arguments in Chambers but had not yet issued a decision. Chambers raised many of the same questions raised here, most notably, whether Miller applied retroactively to a juvenile whose LWOR sentence became final before Miller was decided. 831 N.W.2d at 321–31. We stayed this appeal pending final disposition in Chambers.
We issued our decision in Chambers on May 31, 2013. In Chambers, we held that the Miller rule does not apply retroactively to a juvenile whose sentence of LWOR, under Minn.Stat. § 609.106, subd. 2(1), became final before the Miller rule was announced. Chambers, 831 N.W.2d at 321–31. More specifically, we held that the Miller rule was not retroactive under a Teague4 analysis because it was a new, nonwatershed rule of criminal constitutional procedure. Id. at 330–31. Based on that holding, we concluded that Chambers’s petition was time barred because it did not fall within the exception in Minn.Stat. § 590.01, subd. 4(b)(3), for those who assert a new interpretation of federal law by the United States Supreme Court that is retroactively applicable to the petitioner’s case. Chambers, 813 N.W.2d at 331.
On June 28, 2013, we lifted the stay in this case. On appeal, Roman Nose asserts three claims. First, he argues that the State’s appeal is moot. Second, Roman Nose contends that the postconviction court did not err when it concluded that he was entitled to retroactive application of the rule announced in Miller because our decision in Chambers was wrongly decided. Third, he claims that even if the Miller rule does not apply retroactively to a juvenile whose sentence of LWOR became final before the Miller rule was announced, the circumstances of this case warrant granting him relief under our supervisory powers to ensure the fair administration of justice. We consider each argument in turn.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of a Minnesota man convicted of raping and killing a teenage girl when he was 17.
That means Tony Roman Nose will continue to serve his sentence of life in prison, without the possibility of release.
Roman Nose was convicted in the July 2000 killing of Jolene Stuedemann of Woodbury. He received the mandatory sentence of life without parole.
His sentence became an issue after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that mandatory no-parole sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional. But the Minnesota Supreme Court has found this federal ruling doesn’t apply to old cases.
Roman Nose is now 32. He’ll remain imprisoned for life unless the Legislature or the U.S. Supreme Court take up the issue of retroactivity someday.
(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
In this appeal from summary judgments, appellants argue that that the district court erred by dismissing their wrongful-death negligence claims against a foster home, the owners of the foster home, and the foster home’s psychologist. Appellants’ daughter was murdered by a resident of the foster home. Because we conclude that respondents satisfied any duty they might have had and that respondents’ allegedly negligent conduct was not the proximate cause of appellants’ daughter’s death, we affirm.
From 1997 to June 1999 and from August 1999 to July 2000, Tony Allen Roman Nose lived at Sherwood Home, a group foster home in Woodbury operated by respondent R-Home of Woodbury, Inc. (R-Home). Respondents Robert and Donna Ritter are the sole shareholders and officers of R-Home. Respondent Kevin Flynn is a psychologist who provides counseling and chemical-dependency treatment for the residents of R-Home group foster homes.
Roman Nose has a history of violent behavior, drug and alcohol abuse, and defiant behavior. In June 1999, while in Montana visiting his family for the summer, Roman Nose consumed alcohol and marijuana and attacked a man with a baseball bat. Upon his return to Sherwood Home in August 1999, he had several instances of conflict with other residents, one time throwing a fork at a resident’s face. Roman Nose was diagnosed with a chemical-dependency problem, although he passed more than 20 drug tests administered between January and July 2000. He had several curfew violations and unexcused absences from school. Roman Nose also had a tendency to leave Sherwood Home for short periods of time without permission.
While at Sherwood Home, Roman Nose had a treatment plan to address his chemical-dependency and conflict-resolution problems. Roman Nose met with Flynn regularly to discuss chemical dependency, anger management, and behavior problems. Roman Nose also attended group meetings run by Flynn at Sherwood Home and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Flynn was ill during April 2000 and unable to perform his counseling duties.
On July 10, 2000, at about 8:00 p.m., Roman Nose and another Sherwood Home resident left Sherwood Home after being told that they did not have permission to leave. A Sherwood Home house parent followed Roman Nose and the other resident and indicated nonverbally that they were to return to Sherwood Home. The other resident returned shortly and reported that Roman Nose said that he would come home in a little while. Although Roman Nose occasionally left Sherwood Home without permission, he always returned and did not have a history of running away. Robert Ritter told the house parent to wait a while before calling the police to give Roman Nose an opportunity to return on his own. At about 11:00 p.m., because Roman Nose had not yet returned, the house parent called the police and reported that Roman Nose had run away.
Roman Nose spent that evening drinking beer, smoking marijuana, and using cocaine with Andrew Rieman and Jolene Stuedemann. Later that evening, Roman Nose sexually assaulted Stuedemann and then stabbed her multiple times with a screwdriver. State v. Roman Nose, 649 N.W.2d 815, 816-17 (Minn.2002). Roman Nose was convicted of first-degree murder *83 during the commission of criminal sexual conduct. Id. at 816.
Appellants James and Jeanne Stuedemann brought a negligence-based wrongful-death action against Roman Nose, R-Home, and the Ritters. They later amended their complaint, adding Flynn as a defendant. The Stuedemanns sought partial summary judgment “determining that as a matter of law [Roman Nose] murdered Jolene Stuedemann on July 11, 2000.” R-Home, the Ritters, and Flynn (collectively referred to as “respondents”) each sought summary judgment on the grounds that they did not owe Jolene Stuedemann a duty to control Roman Nose and that their allegedly negligent conduct was not the cause of Jolene Stuedemann’s death. Flynn also argued that the Stuedemanns’s affidavit disclosing the identity of their expert witness was untimely.
The district court concluded that, as a matter law, Roman Nose murdered Jolene Stuedemann; respondents did not have a duty to control Roman Nose; respondents’ allegedly negligent conduct was not the proximate cause of Jolene Stuedemann’s murder; and the Stuedemanns failed to disclose the identity of their expert witness by the deadline in the scheduling order. The district court granted respondents’ motions for summary judgment and dismissed the wrongful-death claims against respondents. The Stuedemanns’ appeal follows.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A man sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for raping and killing a Woodbury woman when he was 17, and seven other Minnesota inmates, likely will get hearings on whether their sentences should be reduced under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling handed down Monday, attorneys said.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday made retroactive its ruling from 2012 that struck down mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles who kill. The previous ruling did not say whether it should be applied retroactively, and the Minnesota Supreme Court concluded in 2014 that it should not. But ruling in a Louisiana case, the nation’s highest court said Monday that the prohibition applies to older cases, too. The decision gives about 1,200 inmates nationwide a chance at freedom. The seven affected states also have the option of making all those offenders eligible for parole.
Assistant State Public Defender Steven Russett said he believes the decision requires that Minnesota courts resentence Tony Roman Nose and the other defendants in similar situations. Russett represented Roman Nose in his unsuccessful 2014 appeal to the state Supreme Court.
“This doesn’t mean anything other than these defendants will be entitled to a hearing to determine if they would receive a sentence with the possibility of parole,” Russett said. “And it doesn’t mean these defendants will ever be released from prison. The most it means is they would be eligible – and the key word is eligible – for parole at some future date.”
Fred Fink, chief of the criminal division in the Washington County attorney’s office, agreed with Russett’s analysis but he said he highly doubts Roman Nose will go free given the facts of his case. Roman Nose, now 33, remains incarcerated in the state’s maximum security prison at Oak Park Heights.
Roman Nose was two months shy of his 18th birthday – the traditional age of adulthood- when prosecutors say he raped and killed Jolene Stuedemann, 18, of Woodbury in 2000, stabbing her 29 times with a screwdriver. Her mother, Jeanne Stuedemann, said she thought the issue was settled, and she felt sick to learn that Roman Nose might now get a chance at parole.
“We’re tormented by this. They promised he’d never get out,” Stuedemann said.