The Sentence: Prison, Escape & Recapture

Ridgely v. State, Court of Appeals of AlaskaJuly 24, 1987 William Plumley was convicted of murder in the first degree and burglary in the first degree in the Landesman homicide. He received a maximum sentence of ninety-nine years for murder and another ten-year maximum term for burglary. The sentences were made consecutive, for a total term of 109 years.

James Ridgely was similarly convicted of first-degree murder and first-degree burglary and received maximum sentences for the offenses. He was also convicted of theft in the second degree and received an additional five-year maximum term for that offense. All three sentences were made consecutive, for a total sentence of 114 years.

Shelly Bosch was convicted of murder in the second degree and of theft in the second degree. She received a maximum term of 99 years for the murder, and a consecutive five-year term for the theft, for a total of 104 years.


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At the time of the crime, Plumley was nineteen years of age. He had no adult record but had been institutionalized as a juvenile for theft of a handgun, theft of a vehicle, and joyriding. Dr. David Coons, a psychiatrist, diagnosed Plumley as being antisocial and as a chronic substance abuser. He indicated that Plumley probably would not have committed this crime on his own, but that he could have stopped it. Although Dr. Coons did not perceive Plumley as violent, he indicated that Plumley had a significant tolerance for violence. In imposing Plumley’s sentence, Judge Moody emphasized the brutal nature of the crime and the fact that it was premeditated. He concluded that Plumley had limited prospects for rehabilitation.

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Judge Ralph Moody

Ridgely, the person who actually struck the blows that killed Mrs. Landesman, was sixteen years old at the time of the offense. He had formerly been adjudicated a delinquent for possession of marijuana, grand larceny, and unlawful entry. The psychiatric report indicates that, despite his youth, Ridgely has limited prospects for rehabilitation. Dr. Coons diagnosed Ridgely as meeting “the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorder, undersocialized aggressive type….” Dr. Coons further stated, “[i]t is felt the patient has strong characteristics of an antisocial personality disorder, but his current age precludes that diagnosis.” In evaluating Ridgely’s rehabilitation potential, Dr. Coons said, “His long-term prognosis is, in my opinion, poor, regardless of what treatment he receives.”

Bosch was seventeen years of age at the time of the offense. She had previously been adjudicated a delinquent for burglary and theft. The psychiatric evaluations of Bosch indicate that she may be amenable to treatment. However, Judge Moody discounted the psychiatric evaluations. The judge concluded that Bosch was as culpable of Mrs. Landesman’s murder as Plumley and Ridgely, even though she had been convicted of murder in the second degree rather than of murder in the first degree […]

RULING We believe that the maximum sentence of ninety-nine years received by Plumley, Ridgely, and Bosch for the murder of Mrs. Landesman is sufficient to serve the sentencing goal of reaffirming societal condemnation of the crimes committed in this case.

Associated Press
Alaska Murderer, Two Other Escapees, Sought
April 18, 1986

PLEASANTON, Calif. (AP)  A woman convicted of a murder in Alaska and two other inmates are being sought after escaping from the federal prison here, authorities said.

The three apparently cut holes in the two fences that surround the Federal Correctional Institution in Alameda County and were discovered missing on Wednesday night, officials said Friday.

The U.S. Marshals Service identified one of the escapees as Shelly Bosch, 21, serving a 104-year sentence for murder. She and two teen-age youths bludgeoned an elderly woman near Anchorage, according to Alaska officials.

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Camp Parks, Federal Prison

Los Angeles Times
The State : California Escapee Seized
June 09, 1986

A 21-year-old Alaska woman, who escaped from a Northern California prison where she was serving a 104-year sentence for murder, has been captured in a suburban Atlanta motel, authorities said. Shelly Bosch of Anchorage will appear before a federal magistrate today on an escape warrant issued by California officials. “Investigations into several states led us there,” said Winford Griffin of the U.S. Marshal’s Service. “When we approached her she tried to run away but we caught her,” he said. Bosch was imprisoned for second-degree murder in the beating death of a widow, Mildred Landesman, 63, near Cantwell, Alaska. She, and two other prisoners, escaped April 16 by cutting through two fences at the Federal Correctional Institute at Camp Parks, near Pleasanton.


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