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Second man pleads guilty in 2009 beating death of man

Casey Grove

A second man has pleaded guilty in the 2009 beating death of a man at Anchorage's Centennial Park over $7 and a case of beer, according to a state prosecutor.

Lawrence Lobdell was 18 when he participated in the killing of James Lockery, 37, who was sleeping in the park. His accomplice, Marc Ewing, who turned 18 less than a month before stomping Lockery to death, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in November 2012 to serve 50 years in prison.

Lobdell developed a brain tumor while held in jail on the pending murder charge, and mental and physical evaluations to see if he was fit to stand trial delayed his prosecution.

According to Lobdell's plea agreement Friday, prosecutors are recommending he serve no more than 40 years behind bars for second-degree murder. The final decision will be up to a judge at Lobdell's sentencing hearing, currently set for June.

Lobdell and Ewing started beating Lockery at the park the night of July 12, 2009, police said in a charging document. The pair took beer and about $7 from Lockery and stole his cellphone. They jumped off a small set of bleachers onto his head and stomach and walked away, a detective said. Then Ewing and Lobdell returned to urinate on Lockery, whom they left to choke on his own blood, the detective said.

Lockery's family said the man was not homeless, that he loved Alaska and chose to "sleep out under the stars."

Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.


By CASEY GROVE
Anchorage Daily News