PALMER — Erick Almandinger was the first to go to trial and subsequently the first to be convicted on all nine charges he faced for his role in the murder of Palmer teen David Grunwald in November of 2016.
Dominic Johnson was found guilty of his nine charges as well and the pair of Bradley Renfro and Austin Barrett will stand trial in Fairbanks in August, but Almandinger will be the first of the four appear for sentencing in Palmer Superior Court on Wednesday and Thursday at 9 a.m.
On May 31, 2018, Almandinger was found guilty of murder in the first degree, kidnapping, three counts of murder in the second degree, tampering with evidence, assault, vehicle theft and arson. The jury took less than a day to convict Almandinger, as did the jury for Johnson.
Almandinger’s house was where David Grunwald was last seen before he was pistol whipped and driven to Knik River Road, where he was shot and his body was stashed. Renfro and Barrett’s trial was moved to Fairbanks due to the difficulty of selecting a jury in the Valley where the grisly details of the murder have been well publicized. Almandinger’s tablet was crucial in identifying the location of the group in the hours up to and following the brutal murder. Johnson is set to appear for a status hearing on June 20.
Contact Frontiersman reporter Tim Rockey at firstname.lastname@example.org.