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Crime & Courts

Alaskan’s murder sentence reduced by years over prosecutor’s statement to jury

  • Author: Associated Press
  • Updated: July 31
  • Published July 31

KETCHIKAN - An Alaska man’s prison sentence for murder has been reduced to 24 years, a report said.

An appeals court ruled the trial’s fairness was undermined when a prosecutor said the jury must convict Devin Rossiter unless jurors decided the victim deserved to die.

Rossiter, 26, was originally sentenced to 36 years, The Ketchikan Daily News reported Tuesday.

The full sentence handed down Monday is 40 years with 16 years suspended, while the original sentence was 45 years with 10 years suspended.

The Alaska Court of Appeals reversed Rossiter's 2012 second-degree murder conviction in September 2017.

Rossiter fatally stabbed 45-year old Nick Stachelrodt in 2011.

The men struggled after Stachelrodt confronted the then-18-year-old Rossiter, who was looking for cigarettes and rifling through a car belonging to Stachelrodt's father outside their shared home in Ketchikan, authorities said.

Rossiter declined his right to a retrial. He has served more than eight years and could be eligible for parole after 10 years with good behavior.

Lynn Stachelrodt, the deceased man's wife, told a judge she had been praying for Rossiter.

“He’s totally different today than he was last time,” she said. “He’s not a cold-hearted killer. I almost want to give him a hug.”

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