A Clearfield County woman sentenced to life in prison at 16 could get an earlier release with parole.
Jessica Holtmeyer was facing life in prison for the murder of 15-year-old Kimberly Dotts in 1998.
Now her prison time could be shortened because of a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, juveniles cannot be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
That means Holtmeyer’s case had to return to court Friday.
Holtmeyer’s new sentence gives her a minimum of 35 years in state prison with parole to a maximum of life in prison, with credit for time already served.
Clearfield County District Attorney Bill Shaw said the judge followed what the Supreme Court now requires.
“The Supreme Court has spoken, and the law’s a law and we have to follow it,” Shaw said. “So the sentence that was imposed is consistent with the recommended sentencing guidelines for Pennsylvania, and it is what it is.”
When she reaches her 35 year minimum, it’s up to the state parole board to determine if Holtmeyer will be released on parole.
“I’m sure when the time comes, the parole board will give the attention that it deserves,” Shaw said. “Keep in mind, that’s still many years down the road before she even becomes eligible for parole.”
The next juvenile case to be re-sentenced in Clearfield County is Andrew Callahan, who was convicted of murder in 1997. There is no timeline yet on when it will take place.