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Hays Receives Life for Murder [AUDIO]

(NCDC file photo)

The trigger man who pleadedĀ  guilty to the murder of Chad Ferguson is sentenced.

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“Beyond senseless.” In two words, Natrona County District Judge Thomas Sullins summed up the actions that led to the murder of Chad Ferguson.

Edward Lee Hays was sentenced Friday morning for shooting Ferguson in the back on June twentieth of last year.

Hays, along with Jonathan Kyle Mahaffey and Dustin J. Doyle, went to Ferguson’s home intending to rob him at gunpoint of money and marijuana they believed he kept inside his home.

After being ordered to his knees at gunpoint in his garage, Ferguson told the men he had gotten rid of his stash because he feared being robbed.

Disobeying an order to go inside the house, Ferguson began walking down his driveway when Hays fired three shots at him from a forty-five caliber Ruger semi-automatic pistol. One round struck Ferguson in the back of the knee cap, another hit him in the back, piercing his heart.

Hays will be spending life in prison without parole.

According to District Attorney Michael Blonigen, Hays’ only chance to be a free man again is through a governor’s commutation.

“There is no parole unless a governor sometime in the future will commute the sentence, that is extremely rare.”

Commutation is a change of a legal penalty or punishment to a lesser one.

“You know, maybe he saves five guards you know, twenty years down the road, somebody’ll give him a break, but, commutation is only a very slender possibility, very remote possibility. So, life is pretty much life in Wyoming.”

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