Grunwald murder suspects

From left to right: Dominic Johnson, Bradley Renfro, Devin Peterson, Austin Barrett and Erick Almandinger in 2016.

WASILLA— On Friday, both the closing arguments concluded for Bradley Renfro’s trial in Fairbanks for the murder of Palmer teen David Grunwald and the final jury was narrowed down.

Palmer District Attorney Roman Kalytiak gave his closing argument Thursday and the court picked up the following day to hear Renfro’s defense attorney Chris Provost make his closing argument.

Provost said this was the “final lap” and he stressed that the burden of proof falls on the state. He argued that state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Renfro was an accomplice when the accused group [Erick Almandinger, Dominic Johnson, and Austin Barrett] kidnapped and murdered Grunwald.

“… Mere presence without any knowledge or plan to be involved or to aid and embed. You don’t have accomplice liability and yet, the state is arguing that you should find beyond a reasonable doubt that that’s what they proved,” Provost said.

Provost claimed that Renfro’s actions including assisting Grunwald into the Bronco and suggesting places to go were not enough to pin him as accomplice. He argued that Renfro had “zero knowledge” of what was planned or what would happen.

“It’s not there for kidnapping or the murder except for looking at two acts: helping David get out to the Bronco and then suggesting where they should go,” Provost said. “Convict him of murder 1 beyond a reasonable doubt, for that?”

After Provost concluded, Kalytiak shot back with his rebuttal. Once Kalytiak finished his rebuttal, Palmer Judge Gregory Heath read the final jury instructions. Alternate jurors were selected and court proceedings concluded for the day.

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