Young Anchorage man sentenced for 2018 murder of 15-year-old

FastCast digital headlines for Friday, May 26, 2023.
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 4:41 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A 21-year-old Anchorage man has been sentenced to 27 years in jail for the murder of a teenager in 2018.

According to initial reports, 15-year-old Raynaldo Khotesouvan and one of his brothers were walking to a gas station to purchase fountain drinks on July 20 of 2018 when they encountered another group of boys that included Luimariamofoa Polu. The boys had a verbal argument that escalated to a fistfight, during which Polu allegedly shot and killed Khotesouvan.

Polu pled guilty to the murder in November of 2022.

Polu, who was 16 at the time, was charged as an adult in the murder of Khotesouvan. Polu was arrested the day after the incident on suspicion of murder, and told officers at the time that he was a member of the gang known as the Bloods and believed Khotesouvan was a member of a rival gang. Khotesouvan’s mother denied allegations that her son was a gang member.

A press release from the Department of Law says an agreement between the State and Polu will have him serving a sentence of 60 years with 33 suspended and 10 years on probation.

A press release from the Department of Law said that presiding Judge Andrew Peterson “reviewed community condemnation of the crime, the need to isolate Polu, Polu’s prospects for rehabilitation, and general and specific deterrence.” It also said that the court acknowledges Polu’s young age when he committed the crime, and that his sentence reflects his prospects for rehabilitation.