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Teen convicted of Grunwald murder faces March sentencing

  • Author: Zaz Hollander
  • Updated: December 22, 2018
  • Published December 21, 2018

Erick Almandinger, right, enters the courtroom after a break during the opening statements in his murder trial at the Palmer courthouse on Monday, May 14, 2018. Almandinger is the first of four teenagers who have been charged with the November 2016 murder of 16-year-old David Grunwald to go to trial. (Bill Roth / ADN)

PALMER -- The only person convicted so far in the killing of 16-year-old David Grunwald faces a sentencing hearing in March on charges including murder and kidnapping.

Erick Almandinger, 18, was convicted by a Palmer jury in May of the November 2016 beating and fatal shooting of Grunwald. Investigators say the teen was bludgeoned in the head with Almandinger’s pistol in a camper-trailer behind his family’s house in Palmer, then driven to a remote site along the Knik River where he was shot once in the head.

Palmer Superior Court Judge Gregory Heath scheduled Almandinger’s sentencing hearing for March 20 and 21 during a hearing Thursday. Heath granted a defense motion to limit to family members the people allowed to speak on behalf of the state’s case against Almandinger.

Dominic Johnson, 18, is on trial now for his role in the crime. Closing statements in that case are scheduled for Wednesday in Palmer Superior Court. Two other defendants -- Bradley Renfro and Austin Barrett -- face future trials that have yet to be scheduled.

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