Family of woman stabbed to death in 2018 reacts to killer accepting plea deal
Cheri Ingram’s family spoke out after news of a plea agreement being reached in the murder case surrounding her 2018 stabbing death
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - For family members of Cheri Ingram — a 42-year-old mother who was stabbed to death in Anchorage in 2018 — a recent change of plea in the case surrounding her murder is proving to be a step forward in their healing process.
Ingram’s son Mark Lopez, now 30, reflected on the case and the plea agreement, saying he feels tremendous relief at the progress being made in the years-old murder case.
“Relief that finally, after almost six years, while he has changed his plea, it is moving towards conviction,” Lopez said. “Personally, I don’t believe it should take six years for a murderer to be convicted, especially since he was caught that day. But we’re able to move on a little more today than we were a few weeks ago, years ago.
“Some days, there’s strength, and other days... anyone would have days where they’re not able to cope with it,” he added. “Today has given me more strength than I’ve had in a while.”
Simon Weyiouanna, who was 27 at the time of the crime, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for his role in Ingram’s death. Weyiouanna was immediately reported to police by bystanders who said they saw him dragging what appeared to be a body in a sheet to his vehicle.
Previous: Anchorage man pleads guilty to 2018 murder
Two of those bystanders held Weyiouanna at gunpoint, police said, while another member of their family called 911 to request that law enforcement respond to the scene. Weyiouanna was arrested on the spot.
“My family is very grateful for the men who had the courage to stop him,” Lopez said. “They exercised their rights as American citizens. Without that, we would probably never know where she was.
“She could’ve ended up like various other women in Alaska — and around the world — who just disappear without a trace,” he said. “And not just women. It happens to men and children all the time.”
The Department of Law also released a joint statement on behalf of the family that echoed Lopez’s sentiments with a message to the public. The prepared statement said in part: “The Carty’s would like to extend our condolences to the families of other murdered and missing people, understanding that Cheri could still be missing if it was not for the neighbors of her murderer. They express their heartfelt thanks to those Good Samaritans and would like to acknowledge them should they choose to reach out.”
The family also asked that any member of the public who might have information related to the disappearance or death of another person, please reach out to authorities.
More: Bystanders held alleged murder suspect at gunpoint until APD arrived
“We’ve been working at it as a family, sometimes, sometimes not,” Lopez said of the long journey to finding peace. “Our healing process will be our own. It can be different for every family.”
As part of Weyiouanna’s plea deal, he is to receive a sentence of 75 years in prison with 25 years suspended, leaving 50 years to serve.
“I’m hoping to see him serve the time he needs to,” Lopez added. “But as a family, we’re hoping to be able to heal, and in August, I’m sure that will come — another piece of the puzzle.”
The Department of Law also said in a prepared statement that sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 14, which is when the court will review the agreement and any last arguments and family statements from the victim’s representatives will be heard.
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