Family of young strangulation victim asks judge for life sentence

Published: Apr. 13, 2017 at 9:16 PM AKDT
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Every seat in Superior Court Judge Kevin Saxby’s court room was filled Thursday afternoon for the sentencing of David Thomas. Thomas has pled guilty to murder in the second degree for the strangulation death of 19-year-old Linda Ann Martz Bower in his Eagle River home in 2014. State prosecutors say Bower was found in Thomas' car after he called 911 to surrender to police.

The terms of the plea deal requires a 75 year sentence for Thomas, with 25 years suspended and 50 to serve.

"The impact is there is no end we were hoping to get the judge to hear our pleas and reject the plea agreement because the plea agreement is unjust,” said Linda Bower’s father Lonnie during time reserved for victim impact statements.

Seven family members and a friend provided testimony, each asking Judge Saxby to hand down a life sentence or reject the plea deal and allow the case to go to trial.

“I hope he is remorseful and I hope he is feeling pain at what he did. He should be able to share some of the pain that he has caused us and with all my heart I hope that you reject this plea,” said Linda Bower’s aunt who carries the same name.

The hearing stretched past 4:30 p.m. causing the judge to continue the sentencing to April 20th at 10 a.m.

Thomas will also be provided time to make a statement before a final sentence is considered.