Erik Ohlson sentencing

Erik Ohlson, right, speaks to his attorney, John Thomas.

Erik Ohlson, who was sentenced to prison in May for killing Jennifer Nalley, is trying every avenue for leniency.

But the court has decided he doesn’t deserve a lesser sentence.

In a motions hearing on Friday in Teton County (Idaho) District Court, Judge Bruce Pickett listened to Ohlson’s attorney Jim Archibald make arguments as to why his client should serve only 15 years behind bars rather than the ordered 25 to life.

“My dealings with Mr. Ohlson started right after he was arrested,” Archibald told the court. “I found a scared, emotional person who was coming out of a fog of his intoxication and shock of having committed something so horrible.”

Since Ohlson’s conviction his defense counsel has stopped denying the fact that their client killed his ex-girlfriend.

Instead they are trying to convince the court that it was a one-time incident.

“If he takes care of his alcoholism, he isn’t going to be violent in the future,” Archibald said.

Teton County Prosecutor Billie Siddoway wasn’t present for the hearing. Deputy Prosecutor Rich Friess argued against a reduced sentence.

“I think the evidence is pretty compelling that this was premeditated,” Friess told the court. “The court’s sentence of 25 to life was already gracious enough.”

Judge Pickett agreed with the state.

“The fact that there was premeditation shows there is risk that he could do this again,” Pickett said in court. “Mr. Ohlson had to drive over the pass from Jackson, Wyoming, to here, and that takes a substantial amount of time, and he still did it even though there was time to reconsider.”

Pickett reiterated that the court’s sentence was appropriate.

After his sentencing, Ohlson filed a notice of appeal along with the motion for a reduced sentence and an objection to the state’s motion for restitution.

The court denied the state’s motion for restitution “in its entirety for failure to file the motion within 30 days of sentencing, and failure to make a showing that the delay was necessary.”

In the order obtained by the News&Guide, Judge Pickett said the prosecutor’s office filed the motion four days too late.

“There was no evidence or argument presented showing or justifying the late filing,” Pickett wrote.

The state asked for less than $13,000 in restitution on behalf of Nalley’s family. That included travel expenses Nalley’s parents incurred traveling from Texas to Idaho for mediation.

After a legal battle that lasted nearly three years, Ohlson pleaded guilty in February to murder and manslaughter.

Ohlson killed Nalley in July 2016 on the porch of her Teton Valley cabin.

In a plea agreement, Prosecutor Siddoway took the death penalty out of the equation.

Ohlson was charged with shooting and killing Nalley and her unborn baby.

Ohlson, who was recently transferred to the Idaho State Correctional Center in Boise from the Idaho Correctional Institution in Orofino, Idaho, isn’t eligible for parole until July 6, 2041.

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066 or

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(2) comments

Steven Kardas

I have said this before, court appointed attorney Jim Archibald  has been milking this case the entire time to make himself money at the taxpayers expense and he is being allowed to do this.  Ohlson is a killer, A murderer of a woman and a unborn child. It was not alcohol that made him kill. Ohlson is a very dangerous bad man with no self control and we the public need to be protected from him. To argue that he needs to be released earlier is absurd. That this man does not have a life sentence with no parole is proof that there is something wrong with our legal system.  This case just will not go away and a judge , any judge needs to make that happen. The family and friends of Jennifer Nalley have suffered through the entire fiasco with still no closure.  

thomas hill

Seriously Prosecutor Billie Siddoway, you couldn't make the time to help the victim's family get the legally available financial restitution? Shame on you for not being the State advocate for the family. Just shame!

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