FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (TCD) -- A 22-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison this week for killing a Mennonite woman who was collecting supplies for Sunday school in 2020.
According to the Arizona Daily Sun, Mark Gooch was convicted in October of kidnapping and first-degree murder for the killing of 27-year-old Sasha Krause. Judge Cathleen Brown Nichols said in her sentencing that his actions were "senseless and mindboggling," especially because Gooch and Krause did not know each other. KPNX-TV reports Gooch also grew up in a Mennonite community but left and later joined the U.S. Air Force.
Detectives from Coconino County and San Juan County arrested Gooch on April 21 at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Ariz. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office said in their arrest announcement that Gooch traveled from the Air Force Base to Farmington, N.M., where Krause lived. Investigation also reportedly placed Gooch near Sunset Crater, where Krause’s body was located.
The San Juan County Sheriff’s Department wrote following the sentencing announcement, "Mark Gooch has been sentenced to natural life in prison for the kidnapping and murder of Sasha Krause. A natural life sentence means that there are no parole hearings, no credit for time served, no possibility of release. Short of a successful appeal or an executive pardon, such a sentence means that the convicted will, in no uncertain terms, die behind bars."