PALMER, Alaska — A man was sentenced to 99 years in prison for killing his classmate in 2016 in Alaska.
According to a news release from the Alaska State Department of Law, Erick Almandinger was sentenced on Thursday to 99 years in prison for kidnapping and murdering his classmate David Grunwald, 16.
In May 2018, Almandinger was convicted by a jury in Palmer, Alaska of nine charges, which included murder, kidnapping and arson. The Alaska State Department of Law said that Almadinger was 16 when the crimes occurred. Currently, he is 22 years old. According to KTUU, three other teenagers were convicted for also playing a role in the murder.
The Alaska State Department of Law said that on November 13, 2016, Grunwald was “pistol-whipped in a camper” that was located behind Almandinger’s house. After he was beaten, Grunwald was taken about 30 minutes out in his own car, walked into the woods, and was killed. His car was found burned miles away and his body was located 19 days later after a defendant led investigators to the area, according to the Alaska State Department of Law.
Retired Palmer Superior Court Judge Gregory Heath believed that Almandinger’s crimes were “truly horrific and committed for no apparent reason,” according to the Alaska State Department of Law. Judge Heath believed that the crimes deserved a severe sentence.
Almandinger was sentenced to 99 years in prison with 20 years suspended, five years for first-degree assault, 30 years (with 20 years suspended) for kidnapping, a $2,500 fine for arson, five years for tampering with physical evidence and a $2,500 fine for first-degree vehicle theft, according to KTUU.
“David Grunwald was a 16-year-old boy who was deeply loved by his family and friends, whose lives have been shattered by their loss and the haunting thoughts of what David endured the last hours of his life,” said Palmer District Attorney Melissa Howard, in a news release. “The sentence imposed is reflective of the senseless brutality of the crime and the calculated steps the defendants took to cover it up.”
Three others have been charged in the November 2016 murder, including Dominic Johnson, who got 99 years for first-degree murder; Austin Barrett who got 45 years for second-degree murder; and Bradley Renfro,is expected to be sentenced on Wednesday, according to the Alaska State Department of Law.
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