PALMER, Alaska (TCD) -- A 22-year-old man was sentenced to 99 years in prison for killing his 16-year-old classmate and burning his car in 2016.
The Alaska Department of Law announced a judge handed Erick Almandinger a sentence of 79 years for first-degree murder, five years for first-degree assault, 10 years for kidnapping, five years for tampering with physical evidence, a $2,500 fine for arson, and a $2,500 fine for first-degree vehicle theft.
According to the statement, on Nov. 13, 2016, Almandinger reportedly pistol-whipped the victim, David Grunwald, in a camper near Almandinger's home. Almandinger took Grunwald's car and drove him for about half an hour, took him to the woods where they walked for about 30 minutes, then killed him. Investigators reportedly found Grunwald's body almost three weeks after he was killed, and his car, which had been burned, was found far away near the Talkeetna Mountains.
The statement says Grunwald was "emotionally tortured" and Palmer Superior Court Judge Gregory Heath "found Almandinger’s crimes were truly horrific and committed for no apparent reason."
Almandinger was sentenced four years after he was found guilty in May 2018.
According to the Alaska Department of Law, Almandinger is the third of four defendants to be sentenced for his role in Grunwald's death. Dominic Johnson was sentenced to 99 years for first-degree murder and Austin Barrett was sentenced to 45 years for second-degree murder. Bradley Renfro is awaiting sentencing.