A 24-year-old convicted of kidnapping and murdering his girlfriend was sentenced to 61 years in prison Thursday.


Jurors convicted Bukurim Miftari of murder, kidnapping and tampering with physical evidence in December. Miftari kidnapped his girlfriend, Kristen Reid, from a friend’s home at gunpoint during the early morning hours of Sept. 17, 2012. Anchorage police found Reid naked in a ditch along Fairbanks Street near International Airport Road, barely breathing, and with a gunshot wound to the head. She later died at the hospital.


Miftari’s lawyers claimed throughout the trial someone else killed Reid. Kasey Malay, Reid’s sister, spoke up for Miftari by phone at the sentencing.


“I think you have the wrong man,” Malay cried. “I think you’re letting whoever did it go! I feel like you are tearing more families apart!”


Miftari did not speak at his sentencing.


He may be eligible for parole in 20 years.


–Editor’s note: Although Miftari received 140 years worth of sentencing, he will only serve 61 years in prison because some of the sentences will be served concurrently.