Jerry Active was sentenced to 359 years in prison Friday in Anchorage on multiple counts of murder and sexual assault for a brutal attack on a Mountain View family in 2013.
Active's total sentence was 404 years with 45 suspended. A number of the dozen charges against Active were merged for the sentencing.
A state prosecutor gave emotional sentencing remarks during the hearing, while Active's defense attorney argued that insufficient evidence was presented at trial and asked the judge for leniency.
Assistant district attorney Gustaf Olson said the facts presented in the high-profile case were staggering. The state did not charge all of the crimes it could have, he said.
Active was arrested in May 2013 and accused of murdering Touch Chea and Sorn Sreap in their Mountain View apartment. Police said Active also sexually assaulted a 2-year-old girl and a 90-year-old woman, and assaulted Von and Minesoreta Seng, who returned home from a movie date to find the bloody scene and Active in the shared apartment.
The Sengs listened to the sentencing by phone; Von Seng decided not to provide a victim impact statement.
Active had been released from jail only 12 hours before the crimes occurred. The Alaska attorney general later said that Active, who had a history of violent crimes involving alcohol, should have received a longer sentence in the previous case.
After a month-long trial that included voluminous testimony from witnesses and experts hired by both parties, jurors found Active guilty of a dozen charges following a single day of deliberations.
Olson asked Minesoreta Seng for permission to tell the court about some of the details of her suffering that weren't apparent during the trial, and she agreed. Minesoreta had been pregnant when she gave testimony during the trial, Olson said, and her contractions had been exacerbated by the court ordeal, requiring her to take a break while speaking.
Minesoreta Seng had given birth shortly after the verdict was handed down in April, Olson said Friday as an infant's cry was overheard on the courtroom speakers, in the background of Minesoreta's phone line.
"His name is Justice," Olson said.
Defense attorney Chong Yim asked Superior Court Judge Philip Volland if his client had received a fair trial. He questioned whether the parties empanelled a fair and impartial jury.
The defense had asked for a change of venue for the trial, and despite Active's notoriety the court refused, Yim said.
Also, evidence was insufficient, Yim said. The attorney pointed out that Active, 27, is still a young man, and he told Volland he planned on filing an appeal.
Active appeared in court, hand and legs kept cuffed throughout. He showed little emotion during the sentencing.
"I'll stand by my innocence until the end," Active told the judge.
A white jury that failed to correctly interpret the evidence was to blame for his convictions, Active said.
But Volland said the jurors performed their due diligence. He described Active as the worst kind of offender.
"Mr. Active's actions will remain a scar on the community," Volland said. "These murders were senseless, brutal, bloody and bloodthirsty."
Volland also ruled that Active's access to discretionary parole should be limited, although he doubted that Active would ever get that chance. The Alaska Court of Appeals generally opposes such rulings against young defendants, but the judge said the circumstances of the crimes warranted the restriction.
"He should remain in prison for the rest of his life," he said.
Alaska Dispatch Publishing