Family of murdered teen sees accused Indiana man in first Alaska court hearing
Before the judge entered a federal courtroom in Alaska Wednesday, a man from Indiana used his yellow prison jump suit to wipe tears from his eyes.
Darin Schilmiller, 21, was extradited to Alaska to face murder charges in state court and child pornography charges in federal court. He's accused of orchestrating the murder of 19-year-old Cynthia Hoffman in early June and has been in the custody of the Anchorage Correctional Complex since Monday afternoon.
KTVA previously reported:
According to a release from the Alaska Department of Law at the time, Schilmiller allegedly recruited 18-year-old Denali Brehmer, offering to pay her $9 million or more to carry out the murder and send him videos and or photographs of the murder. Brehmer then recruited 16-year-old Kayden McIntosh, 19-year-old Caleb Leyland and two juveniles to help her plan and execute the murder. In exchange, the teenagers would all receive "a significant sum of money for their part."
Hoffman was murdered on Sunday, June 2, at Thunderbird Falls near the Eklutna River, where she was shot in the back of the head. She was led into the woods near the falls by Brehmer and McIntosh, where they allegedly duct-taped her mouth and bound her feet and hands. Brehmer had a gun with her, but told detectives during an interview that she ordered McIntosh to shoot Hoffman after she couldn't do it herself. After it was done, police say the pair used Hoffman's phone to text her sister, making up a story about her being at the Polar Bear Playground at Russian Jack Springs Park.
On Friday, June 14, a grand jury indicted all six suspects for first-degree murder, first-degree conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of second-degree murder. Schilmiller and Brehmer were also indicted on a count of first-degree solicitation to commit murder, as well as federal child pornography charges on June 18. Brehmer was additionally indicted on one count of tampering with physical evidence; McIntosh was indicted on four counts of tampering with physical evidence.
Hoffman's parents sat quietly and maintained composure during Thursday's hearing, but her father, Timothy Hoffman, didn't mince words in an interview following the arraignment.
"I think they all oughta fry. Even the teenagers," he said. "To make the decision they made, to make the plot they plotted, to plan out my daughter's death, that's not being a teenager that's being an adult. They all oughta be tried as one. They all oughta stay in these courts. Put the age aside and give 'em what they rightly deserve."
He said justice, to him, would be each defendant receiving a maximum sentence of 99 years.
"I'm out for one thing, and one thing only, and that's justice," said Timothy. "That's to make 'em rot in jail where all them people can send them to hell."
He was not afforded the opportunity to speak during the federal hearing, as the victim in that case is identified as "minor victim 1" and is not his daughter.
"I wanted to stand up and tell the judge that was my daughter, but this case is about child pornography and so until I have the right to stand up and say something, I'll keep my calm," Timothy said.
He believes that opportunity will come Friday when Schilmiller is expected to appear in state court to be arraigned on murder charges.
It is not yet known whether the two unidentified juveniles will be tried in adult court.
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