Nickoloff Killers to Be Resentenced in Brutal Parker Murder
It was a brutal killing in Parker in 1988 when two suspects killed 72-year-old Dorothy and and 87-year-old Mike Nickoloff. The brutal and violent stabbings of the couple shocked the community. Herbert "Chief" Rice Junior and Russell McNeil both 17 at the time of the killings were arrested. A jury found Rice guilty of murder while McNeil plead guilty to a murder charge. After court proceedings both teens were sentenced to life in prison with no parole.
Both suspects face resentencing in Yakima County Superior Court
Now both are set to be resentenced after a 2012 decision by the US Supreme Court found unconstitutional mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole for juveniles.
Yakima County Prosecutor Joe Brusic says he's determined to make sure both men remain behind bars but he knows that's not likely to happen. Brusic believes both men will eventually be released from prison.
The resentencing hearings were supposed to be held back in 2016
Both were set to face resentencing in 2016 but delays and the pandemic delayed the hearings. However hearings are being set for this fall. Brusic says he's looking at a hearing in October for the resentencing of Herbert "Chief" Rice which Brusic says could be released after the hearing in Yakima County Superior Court. The other person convicted in the killing of Dorothy and and Mike Nickoloff, Russell McNeil is also expected to face resentencing this fall.
A suspect in the Skelton family murder in 1993 also faces resentencing
Another hearing set for fall will be in the case of Miguel Gaitan for the 1993 killing of the Skelton family in Outlook. The other suspect Joel Ramos has since been released from prison after a similar hearing in 2020.
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