Teen admits hiding guns used to kill David Grunwald
A man pleaded guilty Friday to hiding the guns used to kill Palmer teenager David Grunwald.
Devin Peterson, 19, pleaded guilty to one count of hindering prosecution and one count of tampering with evidence at a change-of-plea hearing in Palmer court.
Grunwald family and friends filled the courtroom as Palmer District Attorney Roman Kalytiak read the charges.
“On November 13, 2016 David Grunwald was pistol-whipped in Palmer and shot and killed in the Butte area,” Kalytiak read.
Peterson admitted Erick Almandinger — one of four men currently charged with Grunwald’s murder — gave him two weapons used in the murder to dispose of.
During the investigation Peterson initially told troopers the pistols had been taken to another location. Detectives searched the house and found three guns in a North Face backpack.
“After this discovery the defendant confirmed David Grunwald was killed by one of the guns in the backpack. The defendant also confirmed Erick Almandinger admitted to killing David Grunwald and gave him the backpack for the purpose of disposing of the guns but he did not get around to it,” Kalytiak read.
Peterson also admitted he provided two gas cans to Almandinger and Dominic Johnson and told them to “burn that b---h,” referring to Grunwald’s Ford Bronco.
In the charging documents, Peterson was also “in communication with Dominic Johnson when Johnson was buying the gasoline for the purpose of burning the Bronco,” Kalytiak told the judge.
On Jan. 12, Peterson also pleaded guilty to a federal charge of distributing drugs to a minor. He was also charged with several counts of distributing child pornography, after detectives found images on his phone after his arrest in the Grunwald case. Kalytiak said both state and federal pornography have been dropped.
As part of the plea deal Peterson will serve six years for his state charges, which is on the higher end for those kinds of charges. Kalytiak also said Peterson faces three years for his federal drug-distribution charge.
Kalytiak said reaching the plea agreement was a long process, which took coordination with the state and federal defense attorneys to come to a decision on the sentence.
He said tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution are Class C felonies that typically carry a sentence of 18 months, with 18 months suspended which would have meant no jail time.
Peterson pleaded guilty to an aggravating factor, which is why the state is legally allowed to give him a sentence higher than the statutory maximum.
David Grunwald’s mother, Edie Grunwald, said the family is satisfied with the time Peterson will serve.
“It’s just a step towards justice. It breaks my heart all the way around because none of this should have ever happened,” Edie said.
Judge Kari Kristiansen accepted Peterson’s plea deal. Peterson will be back in court on April 30 for sentencing.
Peterson’s brother, Damien Peterson, pleaded guilty to manslaughter last month in the June 2016 shooting of another 16-year-old, Frank Woodford.
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