PALMER, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska judge has delayed sentencing for a man convicted in the killing of a 16-year-old high school classmate, citing concerns about the lack of a psychiatric evaluation.
Erick Almandinger, 19, was scheduled to be sentenced this week after a Palmer jury had found him guilty last year of first-degree murder, kidnapping and other counts in the death of David Grunwald, the Anchorage Daily News reported Wednesday.
Palmer Superior Court Judge Gregory Heath pushed back sentencing until Almandinger’s attorney could respond in three weeks, saying he agreed with prosecutors’ concern about the lack of an individualized clinical psychiatric evaluation.
A presentencing report has only one paragraph under the rehabilitative criteria and letters from family members section, the judge said.
“At this time, the court is not convinced this is enough of an individualized assessment to determine and impose a fair sentence,” Heath said.
Almandinger’s attorney, Jon Iannaccone, had told the court that an evaluation was not necessary because his client is not mentally ill and there are issues with some risk assessments.
Prosecutors are recommending a 99-year sentence for murder and additional time for the other counts. Almandinger’s attorney is requesting a 35-year prison sentence.
Almandinger was one of four charged in the death of Grunwald. Dominic Johnson was convicted of murder and other charges in December.
Bradley Renfro and Austin Barrett will have their trials in Fairbanks.
Grunwald was hit with a pistol outside Almandinger’s home in Palmer and later shot in the head in a remote area near the Knik River, authorities said. The teen was reported missing in November 2016. Johnson later led authorities to the body.
Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com