Slain couple's family concerned over Sup. Court case

April 2, 2010 9:05:42 PM PDT
Next week will mark 20 years since the murder of a Winnetka couple and their unborn child. The killer is serving a life sentence.Friday night, the victims' relatives were concerned an upcoming Supreme Court decision could free him, and others like him who committed crimes while they were under age.

David Biro was a teenager when he broke into a Winnetka home and shot the young couple to death. Prosecutors said the 16-year-old New Trier High School student did it for the thrill.

"Reliving it, of course, you do everyday," said Joyce Bishop, the murder victim's mother."

Bishop still lives in the Winnetka townhome that, 20 years ago, was the scene of her daughter's murder. Nancy and Richard Langert were married just three years and expecting their first child when a teen, a fellow Winnetka resident, took their lives.

"This is the killer who is the boy next door. It could be any of our children," an attorney said back in 1991.

"He tortured them. He bragged about it. He joked about it. He threatened to do it again. He's been absolutely unrepentant since that time," said the murder victim's sister Jennifer Bishop Jenkins.

Biro was charged as an adult and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. But now, a case in Florida involving two men who were 13 and 16 years old when they committed crimes that did not involve murder has found its way to the Supreme Court.

Their attorneys argue life sentences for people who break the law as juveniles amount to cruel and unusual punishment, a violation of the 8th Amendment.

"When I found out about it, it was a huge shock, very upsetting and really retraumatizing," Jenkins said.

The Bishop family fears a Supreme Court ruling could, at the very least, force a new sentencing hearing for Nancy and Richard's killer and others who received life sentences for crimes committed as kids.

"He's a very dangerous character and shouldn't be allowed to walk among us again," said Jenkins.

"I don't think it's cruel and unusual to keep him away from society. He doesn't belong here," Joyce Bishop said.

The case before the Supreme Court involves kids who received life sentences for rape, robbery and other offenses but not murder. So, the court could draw a line that does not impact the Winnetka couple's killer.

A ruling from the Supreme Court is expected in the next few months.