Wis. Supreme Court: Teen's life prison sentence OK

May 20, 2011 - 9:00 AM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court says a boy who was 14 when he killed another boy can be sentenced to life in prison with no parole.

Court documents say Omer Ninham helped throw 13-year-old Zong Vang off a Green Bay parking ramp in 1998. A judge sentenced Ninham to life without parole in 2000, when he was 16.

His attorneys argued the sentence was unusually cruel. The state Justice Department contended that nothing prevents sentencing such a young person to life without parole.

The court ruled Friday that sentencing Ninham to life without parole in an intentional homicide case is permissible and not unduly harsh. It acknowledged the punishment is severe, but that Ninham's crime was senseless and "cannot be adequately reduced to words."

Ninham's attorney didn't immediately return a message.