'You're lying to my face': Investigators confront Renfro over Grunwald murder
Bradley Renfro seemed surprised when Alaska State Trooper Shayne Calt told him there was an investigation into the murder of David Grunwald.
The Palmer 16-year-old disappeared on Nov. 13, 2016. He was later found beaten and executed in the woods off Knik River Road.
Renfro is one of four people charged with pistol-whipping Grunwald, shooting him, burning his Ford Bronco and taking a cab away from the crime scene.
Troopers first contacted Renfro during a traffic stop on Nov. 26, 2016 — nearly two weeks after the killing.
Renfro told Calt he was extremely drunk the night Grunwald went missing and didn’t remember much of what happened.
At first he denied being in the Bronco with Erick Almandinger and Dominic Johnson, who have been found guilty of Grunwald’s murder.
“You have an unbelievable opportunity at this moment to come clean, to tell me the truth about what’s really going on and to give David’s parents a little bit of peace here so they can bury their son,” Calt said. “This moment you’re going to remember for the rest of your life.”
Calt said Renfro continued to lie about his involvement.
“Are you scared of Erick?” Calt asked.
“No,” Renfro said.
“Are you scared of Dominic?" Calt asked.
Renfro laughed, “I could f--- those kids up if I wanted to. I took four years of taekwondo.”
Calt said the evidence they found early in the investigation pointed to Almandinger, Johnson and Renfro.
Johnson’s phone was used to call a cab back from the area where the group burned the Bronco. Renfro is seen on surveillance video at a gas station buying fuel that investigators said was used to start the fire.
“You three are the three. It’s not a matter of trying to pin something on anybody. You three are the three,” Calt said.
“Yeah, 'cause me and my friends are out killing people,” Renfo said sarcastically.
Renfro maintained he was innocent and didn’t remember what had happened.
“Let’s just hope that I f------ didn’t do it,” Renfro said. “I don’t know what the f--- is going on here.”
He said it was “ridiculous” he was sitting in a trooper car being interviewed. At one point he said he hoped Almandinger and Johnson didn’t pick him up in a stolen Bronco while he was drinking.
“F------ please find David and clear me,” Renfro said.
Calt called out Renfro for lying.
“At least you could be man enough to say, ‘I don’t want to say,’ instead of, ‘I don’t recall,’” Calt said. “Now you’re lying to my face.”
Renfro did not have a cell phone during November 2016.
Instead, jurors saw cell phone location data from Johnson’s cell phone that shows he was in the Knik River Road area the time Grunwald was killed.
Renfro ultimately admitted to troopers he had been with the group at the murder site during the investigation.
Next week the state will listen to two more interviews Renfro had with troopers before he was arrested and charged with Grunwald’s beating and killing.
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