The man who murdered the head gardener at the Alaska Zoo has pleaded guilty to the crime.

A release from the Department of Law states as part of a plea agreement Clayton Charlie, 34, admitted he repeatedly stabbed 45-year-old Michael Greco on Nov. 4, 2018, then ran over Greco’s body in the zoo’s parking lot.

Charlie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. His plea agreement calls for a sentence between 35 and 55 years.

"The driving factor here is the most important factor is public safety and how do we ensure that and this ensures that he will be housed wherever department of corrections decides, but that he will be in custody for decades and ensures that as best as we can that he won’t be out in the community and have an opportunity to kill somebody else," said Anchorage District Attorney John Novak.

A press release from the state prosecutor’s office said the sentencing is “open” in regard to the amount of suspended time, probation conditions and parole eligibility. It will be up to the judge to determine exactly how much time Charlie will spend in prison.

Online court records show Charlie’s sentencing is scheduled for February.

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