Eaton v. Pacheco, No. 15-8013 (10th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
More than a decade after the crimes occurred, Dale Eaton was tried for and convicted of the kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, and murder of Lisa Kimmell. A Wyoming jury sentenced him to death, and he later sought federal habeas relief from his convictions and death sentence. The federal district court agreed that Eaton was entitled to partial relief and vacated his death sentence. But the district court refused to disturb Eaton’s underlying convictions. And it also refused to bar the state from conducting new death-penalty proceedings. On appeal, Eaton argued the district court erred: (1) by denying relief on the constitutional claims that implicated his convictions; (2) by refusing to modify the conditional writ to bar the state from conducting new death-penalty proceedings; and (3) by subsequently concluding that the state didn’t waive its right to pursue new death penalty proceedings by failing to timely comply with the conditional writ’s requirements. Finding no reversible error in the district court judgment, the Tenth Circuit affirmed.