In 1997, then 18-year old Jeremy Strohmeyer was arrested for brutally raping and killing Sherrice Iverson, a 7-year old Black girl. Now, after over two decades in jail, he is asking for mercy to be released early even though he was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
The murder happened at the Primadonna Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada which is now Primm Valley Resort. Iverson was found raped and choked to death inside a bathroom stall.
Strohmeyer was able to avoid the death penalty by pleading guilty to the crime. “I took her in the big stall, the handicap stall. To keep her quiet, I choked her,” he admitted to detectives during the initial investigation. He was instead sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Retired homicide detective Phil Ramos, who was one of the lead investigators in the crime, was upset about the decision.
“Of all the murder cases which the death penalty has been talked out, this is one where I was so disappointed when they took the death penalty off the table. He told me as to why he killed Sherrice, he just wanted to see what it was like to kill someone,” he said.
After almost 21 years since the murder, Strohmeyer’s lawyers were asking the court to reconsider his sentence. They claimed that his brain was not fully developed at that time. Now at the age of 39, they want to get the possibility of parole.
One of his lawyers, Ozzie Fumo, argues that Strohmeyer’s childhood was tumultuous given that his mother has a mental illness and he was put up for adoption. He says these factors contributed to his mental state.
However, Ramos believes that “he was not immature. He is a cold-blooded killer and he should have been put to death for this crime.”
“The innocence of the victim, the brutality of the murder, and the cavalier attitude of the killer,” Ramos said. “I still remember taking the confession from him and he described in brutal detail how he molested little Sherrice.”
Phil Ramos said he and the other detectives will be the first to testify against Strohmeyer if ever his request for re-sentencing gets granted.
Meanwhile, Strohmeyer wrote a letter of apology to Iverson’s family that was published in The Las Vegas Review-Journal last year. He wrote, “I want to ask for their forgiveness, and I want them to know I’d give anything to trade places with Sherrice. I just want them to know I am sorry, more sorry than words can ever say. I wish nothing but peace and good lives for them wherein their lives are not defined by this horrible tragedy as mine has been.”
A judge was expected to review Strohmeyer’s case in three months.