Sean Rhomberg re-sentenced in Dubuque murder - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sean Rhomberg re-sentenced in Dubuque murder

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Sean Rhomberg, sentenced in 1992 to life without parole for the 1991 murder of Marion Carpenter, was re-sentenced today at the Dubuque County Courthouse.

Rhomberg was only 16 at the time of his original sentencing, but tried and convicted as an adult.

Judge Thomas Bitter re-sentenced Rhomberg to life, but this time will leave it up to the parole board to determine if he will be eligible for parole.

That means Rhomberg could apply for parole as early as today, Ralph Potter, the Dubuque County Attorney said.

Rhomberg's re-sentencing came in thanks to a Supreme Court decision handed down in 2012 that said it is unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison with parole. 

Potter and the state argued for a life with the possibility of parole after 35 years, and Rhomberg's side lobbied for life with the possibility of parole after 20 years.  He has served approximately 22 years already.

But Bitter stayed away from issuing any particular minimum time served in order to be eligible for parole, stating there has not been much legal precedent to give him that authority. 

As it turns out, the Rhomberg family has history of violence. 

According to the Telegraph Herald, Randy Rhomberg, Sean's uncle, was convicted in 1981 of rape and strangulation of a 18-year-old Dubuque girl. 

In 1996, his aunt, Judy Leppert, was shot by a Dubuque police officer after threatening him with a knife.

A small portion of Rhomberg's family was at the hearing, but were not available for comment. 

Gina Kramer, Rhomberg's lawyer, was also not available for comment.


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