Samantha Hanway pleads guilty to aiding and abetting in Hudson double homicide

Samantha Hanway

By Joshua Scheer, reporter,

(Lander, Wyo.) – After pleading guilty to lesser charges, Samantha Hanway told Ninth District Court Judge Norman E. Young that robbing Eric Likes and Elva Quiver was her idea.

Hanway is one of five defendents in the Novemeber 2011 double homicide and arson in Hudson. She was originally charged with four counts of first-degree murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, first-degree arson and two counts of aggravated robbery. Charges were amended on June 4 in conjunction with a plea agreement.

She was arraigned Thursday morning on the amended charges and pled guilty to two counts of second-degree aiding and abetting murder. Nearly 20 people attended the arraignment, and Hanway teared as she gave her pleas and testimony of the events.

Per the plea deal reached with the prosecution, Hanway could spend between 25 and 50 years in prison. Young has not accepted the plea, as he is waiting for a pre-sentencing investigation.

She also, per the agreement, would be available to law enforcement and prosecution in the cases against her codefendants and would testify truthfully about the events.

Her plea was that on or between Nov. 15 and Nov. 17, 2011, she “purposefully and maliciously without premeditation” aided and abetted, in the second degree, in the murders of Eric Likes, 42, and Elva Quiver, 20, at Likes’s trailer home in Hudson.

Hanway told Young she is 21-years-old, did not complete high school and was in the process of getting her GED when she was arrested.

She said she is married to codefendant Joseph Jude Jenkins.

“We have one child, and I’m pregnant right now,” Hanway said, adding her son is 8 months old. “It’s my understanding he was taken to Montana by one of Joseph’s aunts.”

She said she did not know Likes or Quiver well.

“They were my dad’s friends,” she said.

Young asked how she and the others came to be at Likes’s home on Nov. 15.

“We discussed it and our first plan was just to rob him,” Hanway said. “They were going to rough him up and take his money. … It was my idea, mine and (Jenkin’s.)”

She explained that she, Jenkins, Lazuir Hanway Jr. and Jude Blackburn drove to the house. After Jenkins and Laziur Hanway Jr. failed to find a way to break into the house, she said the two informed her and Blackburn that they might tell Likes they were stranded.

“They told me of their intention of maybe having to kill them,” she said, adding she didn’t leave or stop them.

Hanway said Blackburn rendezvoused with the other two through the trailer’s bathroom window, and he and Hanway were advised to leave for a while and then return. When they got back, Jenkins reportedly asked for Hanway to join them in the trailer.

“Joe wanted me inside and then, it was already done,” she said.

Hanway said she saw both Likes and Quiver inside the trailer and that they appeared to her to be dead.

Young asked if she knew who was responsible for stabbing either of the victims.

“They wouldn’t go into too much detail,” she said.

She then explained that they didn’t find any money, but they took some construction saws and other items.

“They took some of their rings,” Hanway said. “We took some of their rings.”

Two days later, she, Jenkins and Laziur Hanway Jr. were curious if the bodies had been discovered.

“I had the idea that it would be good to blow it up if it was undiscovered,” she said.

Hanway said after determining that the deaths remained unknown, she purchased gasoline, and Jenkins and Laziur Hanway Jr. used it to burn the trailer in order to hide the evidence.

The prosecution, led by Fremont County Deputy Attorney Patrick LeBrun, was satisfied with Hanway’s testimony to determine a factual basis for the charges.