Crime & Courts

Anchorage resident sentenced to 27 years for 2018 killing of fellow teen

An Anchorage resident was sentenced Friday to 27 years in prison for the murder of 15-year-old Raynaldo Khotesouvan in 2018.

Luimariamofoa Polu, now 21, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the case in 2018. Polu was 16 at the time and was tried as an adult under Alaska state law. He pleaded guilty to the murder charge in 2022.

Court documents filed in the case said that Polu was involved in a verbal altercation and fistfight among a group of teens on a street in Anchorage’s Mountain View neighborhood in July 2018 that escalated when Polu shot Khotesouvan with a handgun after Polu said the other boy “disrespected him.”

The fight was caught on a nearby security camera, and at the time of his arrest Polu told officers that he had shot the other teen, who was a stranger to him. Khotesouvan was a freshman at East Anchorage High School.

On Friday, Anchorage Superior Court Judge Andrew Peterson sentenced Polu to 60 years in prison, with 33 years suspended followed by 10 years of supervised probation.

In accepting an agreement between Polu and the state outlining sentencing terms, the judge took into account the severity of the offense resulting in the loss of Khotesouvan’s life, Polu’s youth when he committed the crime, his prospects for rehabilitation and other factors, state prosecutors said in a statement.

[Alaska appeals court sends case of Winona Fletcher, convicted of 1985 murder as a teen, back to lower court for resentencing]