Almandinger sentencing likely postponed until all Grunwald murder trials are over
The sentencing for convicted killer Erick Almandinger likely won’t be held until his co-defendants finish trial.
In May 2018, a jury convicted Almandinger of the first-degree murder of David Grunwald.
Almandinger was one of four people accused of beating and shooting 16-year-old Grunwald on Nov. 13, 2016.
In December 2018, another jury convicted Dominic Johnson of the same crime.
Suspects Bradley Renfro and Austin Barrett have yet to go to trial. They were expected to be tried together in Fairbanks but Judge Gregory Heath made a last minute decision to sever their trials.
Renfro will go to trial by himself next week.
At a status hearing on Friday, Almandinger’s new attorney, John Putikka, asked for another 90 day extension. He took over the case from Jon Iannaccone, who took a job with the Kenai District Attorney’s Office.
Putikka said it took him almost 10 weeks to get caught up with the case. He’s working with the Office of Public Advocacy to look into the costs of getting Almandinger psychologically tested before his sentencing.
Judge Heath said he would like to get all four trials completed before Almandinger is sentenced.
“I need to have entire picture before we go forward,” Heath said.
Almandinger will be back in court on Dec. 15 for another status hearing. Johnson has his sentencing scheduled for Nov. 22 but that will likely be delayed as well.
Jury selection in Renfro’s trial begins Monday, Aug. 26 in Fairbanks.
Barrett’s attorney said he could have the case ready for trial by January 2020.
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