Jackson resident Erik Ohlson was convicted for the murder of Driggs resident Jennifer Nalley in May.
This month, Ohlson’s defense argued that their client should spend 15 years in prison rather than 25 to life.
Ohlson, who is currently serving his prison sentence at the Idaho Correctional Institution in Orofino, Idaho, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the 2016 murder of Nalley after a plea agreement took the death penalty off the table in February. He is currently eligible for parole in 2041.
At the time of sentencing in May, the defense worked to convince the court that Ohlson should receive the minimum sentence of 10 years. Teton County Prosecutor Billie Siddoway asked that the court to impose the maximum punishment of 15 years for the death of the unborn baby and fixed term of 40 years for the death of Nalley.
Judge Pickett again said this month that 25 to life was the standing sentence and denied the defense their motion to reduce the sentence.
Judge Picket did however grant the defense their motion for restitution relief for the $12,590 Ohlson was ordered to pay at sentencing. This money was to compensate the Nalley family for travel expenses; however, in the judge’s answer he noted that the state filed the objection to the motion four days past the 30-day deadline.
Siddoway explained that her office’s need for more time was not recognized.
“It has been difficult to calculate the financial damage to the survivors with so many matters still left unresolved,” said Siddoway in a follow-up email to the Teton Valley News. “The State was able to cover the costs of cremation for Jennifer, but, because the appeal is pending, the court has not released Jennifer’s fetus and the expense for its burial has not been realized. The court did not accept the explanation for the need of more time to pursue restitution from the defendant.”
She added, “I am pleased that the court denied the defendant’s request for a reduction in sentence and affirmed its earlier judgment of an indeterminate life term.”
Ohlson was arrested in July 2016 after he crashed his truck into an electrical pole on 2500 North, just three miles from Nalley’s cabin in Driggs where she lay dead from eight gun shot wounds suffered that same night, according to the Teton County Coroner’s report. She was about 12 weeks pregnant at the time. Ohlson was arrested for a DUI and later confessed to killing Nalley. However, his confession was thrown out after the court determined that the Idaho State Police failed to provide legal counsel to Ohlson during the interrogation.
To date, this case has cost Teton County $454,430.