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10:44 PM Thu, Nov. 15th

Boucher homicide suspect re-sentenced to 'natural life'

Convicted killer Richard Finch was re-sentenced Tuesday to "natural life" in prison for the 1999 killing of Lillian Boucher.

Superior Court Judge Robert Moon imposed the sentence.

Moon sentenced Finch to life in prison in March 2001 but threw out Finch's sentence earlier this year.

Moon said he misapplied aggravating factors from a state statute, and he cited a 2001 Arizona Supreme Court case (State vs.

Viramontes).

On Tuesday, Moon also affirmed prior sentences of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years for Finch's role in the murder of Joseph Boucher and 12 and one-half years for burglary of cash, jewelry and a handgun from the Bouchers' home on Feb.

24, 1999.

Vivian Brown, a resident of Elko, Nev., and the Bouchers' daughter, spoke in court.

Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith said Brown "did a good job of speaking emotionally about the death of her parents and the problems this has caused with her family."

Phoenix attorney John Rood represented Finch at the sentencing.

Smith said Finch spoke during the hearing.

Finch said he had taken advantage of the educational opportunities afforded him in prison and is learning not to be self-centered, Smith said.

The jury sentencing of Finch's accomplice, Charles David Ellison, has been set for Feb.

4.

Smith said the jury sentencing should take about five days.

Ellison was to have been sentenced in November, but the sentencing was postponed because of the illness of a physician who is a key defense witness.

In January 2002, Ellison was convicted of the first-degree murders of Joseph and Lillian Boucher and first-degree burglary.

Ellison was convicted before a state law was enacted that puts the sentencing of a defendant in a death penalty case in a jury's hands instead of the judge's.