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  • Adult Time for Adult Crime: Ethan Allen Windom

    On November 9th, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments challenging the constitutionality of juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) sentences. In preparation for oral arguments, JLWOP: Faces & Cases will be an on-going series on The Foundry that will tell real stories about juvenile offenders who are currently serving LWOP sentences.


    Defendant: Ethan Allen Windom (17)
    Victim: Judith Windom
    Crime: Second degree murder
    Where: Boise, Idaho
    Crime date: January 25, 2007
    Verdict: Guilty
    Sentence: Life without parole


    Ethan Allan Windom battered his mother with a barbell and then killed her with a kitchen knife.


    Ethan Allan Windom lived with his mother, Judith Windom, in Boise, Idaho. Judith was a high school teacher and worked with disabled students. Ethan attended the local public high school, where he received good grades.

    Windom was an avid weight lifter and took creatine, a supplement, to enhance his weight-lifting ability. At the time he murdered his mother, he was 5’8” tall, weighed 220 pounds, and was very muscular.

    Windom bullied his mother. He took her master bedroom for himself and turned the living room into a weight-lifting and exercise room, leaving a cramped bedroom for his mother.

    Windom became obsessed with a fictional character from the book and movie “American Psycho.” The character wore a suit and lived a “clean” life by day but committed crimes at night. In time, Windom began to wear a suit to school.

    On the night of, January 25, 2007, while his mother was asleep, Windom armed himself with a barbell and savagely beat her, striking her head repeatedly. Then he then stabbed her with a kitchen knife until she was dead.

    Windom replaced the voicemail greeting on their home telephone with one explaining that he and his mother were away on a trip. He then walked across town to his father’s residence. It was the middle of the night. He woke his father and step mother, telling them that someone had hurt his mother. They called the police.

    After Windom was arrested, he explained that he had been thinking about killing someone for some time.

    Although charged with first degree murder, Windom struck a plea agreement and pled guilty to second degree murder. He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

    Charles D. Stimson is Senior Legal Fellow and Andrew M. Grossman is Senior Legal Policy Analyst in the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    15 Responses to Adult Time for Adult Crime: Ethan Allen Windom

    1. Chris N, Albuquerque says:

      And so he should remain, this young man does not deserve to walk free ever again.

    2. Inuj says:

      Please quit waisting my money by charging me taxes to pay for the incarceration of these monsters. Charge them with the death penalty and find a quicker cheaper way to execute them.

    3. NEAL RASMUSSEN says:


    4. Mike Winsauer, Kings says:

      Where do these animals come from? He was "thinking of killing someone for some time"!!??

      I'm not an attorney but it seems that if the crime was premeditated, and vicious and the victim was his own mother, AND he confessed, then I'm not sure he shouldn't haven't been tried for 1st degree murder, found guilty and sentenced to death.

      For sure,he has to kept from ever getting another shot at killing another innocent victim

    5. Voice of Reason, Suw says:

      Let's leave aside the fate of this person, the Supreme Court will decide this issue shortly. Can we talk about underlying factors? Some have said that creatine causes depression and anger. Yes, people need to take responsibility for their actions, but if a product is commercially available don't we have some expectancy that a product is safe? As a mature adult I would suggest that our abilities to question product safety are immeasurably larger than a teenager. If you can buy it on the market wouldn't just about every teen think the product was safe? And besides isn't it the lure of what the product can do for your body that drives the sale; would a teen actually read the disclaimer? Is it even legal for a teen to buy this product?

      So society dumps this product into the marketplace, mayhem results and all we want to do is treat the result and the cause. Isn't the cause of all this mayhem at its core a spiritual deficit? Wouldn't a healthy belief in a Creator help us navigate life in more productive attitudes? I would pray that regardless of the length of this sentence that this young man's life is touched by the hand of God. Then there will be true peace and true redemption for him.

      In the meantime what can we do to fashion a society that more nobly reflects the values and aspirations of our Christian founders?

    6. David Weaver Corpus says:

      I agree with you Chris, this young man is obviously disturbed and if let loose on the streets would take another life. I can't speak for other people but when I was a child, if I tried to take over my mothers house at the age of 16 or 17 it would be my butt. I really don't see young people with manners anymore and I blame the parents, I know there are some people that are just born bad (like Ethan here) but there are a lot of good kids that turn bad because their parents aren't involved in their life enough.

      I mean, how many kids do you hear reply to a question yes Sir or no Sir anymore?

    7. Mike Dodson, Midland says:

      At 17 he should have been tried as an adult. The character of his crime indicates premeditation and it should have been referred to court as a capital crime. The depraved nature of the crime and the depraved nature of his actions before the crime clearly indicate a sociopathic nature. He should have been sentenced to death in order the protect the rest of us from his future actions, his "youth" notwithstanding.

    8. C.L. Schneider, Vald says:

      Let's not blame the problem on a supplement or anything else other than the person who committed the crime. I was a high school weightlifter and took creatine to aid in muscle building. This product has never changed my attitude or encouraged aggressive behavior, Nor have I witnessed these changes in other competitors. This product is designed to aid in muscle fatigue and recovery, one major side effect of this supplement is dehydration. To my knowledge, this product is no longer on the market for purchase. It has been linked to deaths due to dehydration.

      We need not look at anything other than the offender, and not offer excuses to him. After committing a crime as grievous as this society can no longer refer to this person as a juvenile. His actions are of an adult nature, and he is of an age where he should know wrong from right. I am sick and tired of our society giving excuses to these animals by looking at anything other than the person who has committed the offense to hold responsible. We need to start holding people responsible for their own actions and not make excuses for them.

    9. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      He took the drugs, his choice. Nobody held a gun to his head to do that. Nobody threatened his family or him to do that, so there goes that excuse.

      His life was bad at home, in the neighborhodd? Millions of us didn't have a good home or neighborhood. So what? Doesn't count.

      It is time we stopped making excuses for bad behavior, period. There are no excuses, ever. He murder his mother, end of story. Life in prison sounds fair. There are wieghts to lift there, although I'l never know why. One room, one bed, one toilet, and a book. That should always be the limit.

    10. Neil Schmidt, Santa says:

      For a change, let's forget the drug bit. The kid knew what he was doing—drugs or no drugs, and should take responsibility for his actions, even though there are those who would take pity on the kid, give him a slap-on-the-wrist prison sentence, ultimately putting back into society to commit yet more such crimes. "But he didn't MEAN to do it," some would say. Sure he did. The kid is an obvious sociopath (we used to call them "psychopaths," but I suppose that word is not PC enough in today's society). The kid is right where he belongs and for the right reasons.

    11. Slick - Nebraska says:

      And where was the father in this whole darn mess? You cannot tell me that if this boy's father played a significant role in this boy's life that he would not have noticed a change in the boy's attitude. I'm not saying the father is responsible by any means, but I am saying that it takes both parents to give a child balance and the road map for the path to a successful life.

      And the mother was a teacher for crying out loud . . . help was only a phone call away if he was out of control so why didn't SOMEONE do something to keep this from happening. It would have been a cold day in hell before any child of mine would have taken over MY house and put me in a small bedroom out of the way! The cops would have been there so fast it would have made his head swim!

      Unfortunately, this young man has royally screwed up his own life with the choices he has made. We know he was not raised in a backward environment so he KNEW the consequences of his actions. I would say he got off lucky with his sentence because it is obvious to all that he planned to do something like this to someone – the ultimate result of uncontrollable anger. What a waste of humanity!

    12. Bobbie Jay says:

      The parents aren't to blame anymore! Children can have the best upbringing in the world but society accepts what the "upbringing" doesn't. Children lose the discipline of their parents, it's easier when anything is accepted in society.

      Public, government run, school counseling is a means to invade privacy. To create future, further programs. A dangerous conflict of interest, as people don't know the public government counselor or what is being said or indoctrinated. I wasn't even notified my child was seeing a counselor until there was trouble that wouldn't have happened if the counselor is qualified. Waste of the Tax payers money. Had public counseling worked, we wouldn't be paying for private counseling.

      society promotes assertion where it doesn't belong. There is a commercial with two young girls and one sees a cell phone plugged in, She complains to the other that the (charger) was plugged in. The other girl says, "it's not mine, I don't even have a cell phone." All of a sudden the cell phone goes off and the one complaining realizes it's hers. No apologies. Just a smug end. commercial insinuates man-made global warming. (waste of electricity.) Just like this government, quick to point fingers when it's been their doing all along.

      This young man chose to murder. So he chose his own consequence. I wouldn't doubt if he had public, government counseling.

    13. Mike Winsauer, Kings says:

      I don't believe VOR's comments have anything to do with reason….or common sense.

      To begin with, placing the blame for this murder on society, drug companies, adults etc is ludicrous and might be laughable if it weren't so pathetic and seriously off the mark.

      Interestingly, VOR didn't offer any evidence supporting his assertion that this drug causes violent behavior.

      Of course, if he wants to pray for the murderer, he should do so. On the other hand, I will pray for his mother's soul and her worthy survivors

    14. Languid Sorrow says:

      Well,now we know where new Aryan Nation members come from!

    15. Danielle says:

      i was told that there was others with him that helped ethan to kill his mom…did they ever find the others???

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