This story originates from KYUK Public Media and was published with permission. 

BETHEL — A Bethel judge sentenced 28-year-old Mark Charlie Jr. of Bethel to serve 20 years for the murder of Leann Berlin, a 26-year-old originally from Kasigluk.

Berlin’s body was found in the BNC apartments and had been there for days after she died, Charlie later admitted to strangling her.

Charlie was originally charged with first-degree murder, but that charge was dropped as part of a plea deal. Instead, Charlie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Charlie appeared before Judge Dwayne McConnell at the Bethel Courthouse on Tuesday morning for sentencing.

Judge McConnell spoke before he imposed the sentence. He said the plea deal satisfied the minimal sentencing requirements. He also said the court found Charlie was a good candidate for rehabilitation given his lack of a criminal record prior to the killing.

Charlie’s full sentence was 50 years in prison, with 30 suspended, and 10 years of probation after his release.

McConnell added that Charlie could be released in 11 – 13 years for good behavior in prison.

He later added that Mrs. Berlin’s life could not be restored and that her family would miss her.

About 30 members from the Berlin and Charlie family attended the hearing.

When McConnell announced the verdict a family member of Leann Berlin swore and then abruptly left the courtroom.