Judge rejects plea deal in Eagle River murder

The household of an Eagle River lady, murdered in September 2014, should wait just a little longer for justice. Wednesday, Anchorage Superior Courtroom Decide Kevin Saxby rejected a plea deal which might have ended the already prolonged case.

David Thomas has admitted to strangling his girlfriend, 19-yr-previous Linda Bower. Within the deal, he agreed to plead responsible to second-diploma homicide in trade for a sentence which might have made him eligible for parole in 14 years.

In emotional testimony, Bower’s mother and father requested Saxby to reject the deal, saying it was not justice for his or her daughter.

“All I’ve left of Linda Ann are reminiscences and hopeless goals,” stated her father, Lonny Bower. “My hope is that there will probably be justice, however that, too, appears hopeless, because it’s been 31 months since Linda was taken.”

Lonny Bower stated regardless of the time since her dying, his ache and anger are nonetheless recent. The plea deal solely fuels these emotions. He stated the household didn’t understand how quickly Thomas can be eligible for parole once they first agreed to the deal.

“Something lower than life in jail for the defendant just isn’t justice,” he stated.

Linda Bower’s mom, Sherry Miller, echoed these emotions, pleading with the decide to reject the deal. She stated past in search of justice for her daughter, she sees locking up Thomas as the one approach to shield the group from additional violence.

“I noticed the bruises on her face and her ear and her neck and my tears couldn’t wipe them away,” sobbed Miller throughout her testimony.

The state prosecutor and the protection each supported the plea deal, arguing it saves the time and expense of a trial and since they see Thomas as a superb candidate for rehabilitation.

The Bower household vehemently disagreed, citing Thomas’ historical past. He served time in a Montana jail for home violence and attacking a police officer who responded to the decision. He was launched on parole and received off probation early for good conduct. After shifting to Alaska, Thomas met Linda Bower, began utilizing medicine and alcohol after which killed her in what he described as an “explosion” of self-loathing.

“I do know it means little, however nonetheless, from the underside of my damaged coronary heart, I’m so insanely sorry for robbing you of Linda’s presence,” he stated to the household in a ready assertion.

After listening to testimony, Decide Saxby determined to reject the plea deal. He echoed considerations for the security of the group if Thomas was launched too early, saying he thought Thomas’s prospects for rehabilitation have been “dim”.

“The potential of parole inside sixteen years of the crime, or 14 years from at the moment, in essence cheapens the crime,” stated Saxby.

His choice means the case goes again to sq. one. It’s like Thomas’s responsible plea by no means occurred. The state prosecutor additionally has the choice of bringing again a primary-diploma homicide cost, dropped for the plea deal. And it means Linda Bower’s household faces a full…

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