Jury vacates murder sentence

ST. LOUIS – A jury was unable to unanimously decide if life without the possibility of parole was the appropriate sentence for a man convicted in the death of a woman, according to Lauren Trager, a spokesperson for the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office.

Twenty-one-year-old Ledale Nathan was 16-years-old when 34-year-old old mother of two Gina Stallis was killed during a home invasion in October 2009.

Nathan was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced in May 2011 to life in prison.

Last year Nathan filed an appeal claiming the state did not prove he committed first-degree murder and believed his age should have been considered during sentencing. A judge sent the case back for resentencing because it violates the Eighth Amendment.

Trager says on Friday, the jury deliberated for three hours and were unable to determine if life without parole is the appropriate sentence.

Because they were unable to agree on a sentencing for first-degree murder, the jury continued to deliberate on a sentence for second-degree murder and recommended four life sentences with 30 additional years for robbery and 15 years for kidnapping. He could be eligible for parole at some point in the future.

Nathan's formal sentencing is set for July 25.

Previous sentences decided by a judge on 20 criminal counts still stand: five life sentences to run consecutively, 10 life sentences to run concurrently, plus an additional 75 years to run consecutively.

The family of Gina Stallis released the following statement Friday:

We are disappointed that the jury was unable to unanimously decide that life without the possibility of parole was a just and appropriate sentence for LeDale Nathan. We believe he knew exactly what he was doing at the time that he and Mario Coleman terrorized our family and forever robbed us of our beloved Gina. She was never given the second chance that he was afforded. We are glad, however, for the jury's latest recommendations of four life sentences, in addition to other time. We are so grateful to Chief Trial Assistant Beth Orwick and Assistant Circuit Attorney Jennifer Szczucinski and to former ACA John Bird for their work on this case. We hope that Gina rests in peace, as she lives on forever in our hearts.

Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce released the following statement Friday:

We understand the difficulty of the decisions that were before the jury in this matter and we thank them for their service. Ultimately, LeDale Nathan is being held accountable for the horrific crimes he committed. He will spend many decades behind bars and will be under the supervision of the Missouri Department of Corrections for the rest of his life. The family of Gina Stallis, however, has suffered immeasurably from his actions and was again subjected to an arduous court process. We continue to implore the legislature to act on the matter of juvenile sentences to save other families from similar anguish.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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