Michael Swanson to be resentenced

FORT DODGE – A Minnesota man serving two life sentences for murder in Iowa will be re-sentenced in 2014 under an Iowa Supreme Court ruling that affects mandatory life sentences for juvenile offenders.

Michael Swanson was 17 when he shot Sheila Myers at a Humboldt convenience store three years ago, on Nov. 15, 2010.

He shot Vicky Bowman-Hall at an Algona convenience store the same night.

Swanson, who is now 20, was convicted in 2011 of murdering Myers. He pleaded guilty in 2011 to murdering Bowman-Hall.

His re-sentencing hearing has been scheduled for July 15, 2014.

The re-sentencing is a response to a motion to correct an illegal sentence, according to Iowa Courts Online. The motion was filed in June after an Iowa Supreme Court ruling opened the door for juveniles sentenced to life in prison to appeal their sentences.

The Iowa court ruling followed a 2012 United States Supreme Court ruling that threw out automatic life sentences for juveniles.

In the wake of that ruling Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad commuted the life sentences of 38 Iowa inmates convicted as juveniles, including Swanson, to terms of 60 years in prison before they could be eligible for parole.

The U.S. high court ruling mandates that juvenile case sentencing be taken individually, taking into consideration the juvenile’s age when the crime was committed, the nature of the crime and other relevant factors.

Swanson, who was from St. Louis Park, Minn., walked into the Crossroads convenience store in Algona and shot Bowman-Hall in the face after stealing money and cigarettes.

From Algona, he drove south on U.S. Highway 169 to the Kum & Go convenience store in Humboldt. He entered the store armed with a .40-caliber Beretta handgun loaded with hollow point bullets.

He shot Myers point blank in the face and left the store with $31 and some cigarettes.

Later, he was arrested in Webster City after stopping at a McDonald’s restaurant for food.