Resolution of Brown, Schloss
February 18, 2010
Anchorage, Alaska - Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan
said he hopes the families and friends of Della Brown and Mindy
Schloss feel a sense of closure and the start of healing with
Wednesday's plea by Joshua Wade that he is guilty of murdering
the two Anchorage women.
"We want these families
- and all Alaskans - to know that we will never rest when such
heinous crimes remain unpunished," Sullivan said. "Thanks
to close cooperation between our office and the U.S. Attorney's
Office, we are seeing justice served."
Wade changed his pleas in Alaska
Superior Court and U.S. District Court to accept responsibility
in the murder of Ms. Schloss in 2007 and Ms. Brown in 2000. He
received effective life sentences in both venues for the crimes,
including a 99-year state sentence.
Although Wade was acquitted
by a jury in 2003 of murdering Ms. Brown, his confession entered
in Superior Court this morning allowed Judge Philip Volland to
prohibit discretionary parole. Even with good behavior in prison,
Wade will have to serve 66 years before being eligible for parole
on the state conviction. And then if he were ever released, he
would automatically be taken into custody by the Federal Bureau
of Prisons to finish out the balance of his concurrent life sentence
with no possibility of release.
"We also hope that this
result today demonstrates our commitment to equality under the
law," Attorney General Sullivan said. "One of the many
tragedies from the Della Brown murder is the perception that
the ethnicity of a victim might somehow influence how aggressively
a crime is investigated and prosecuted by the state. Let me address
this plainly, sincerely and directly: We will never give up or
go easy on a perpetrator because the victim is an Alaska Native
or of any other ethnicity."
Terms of Agreed Upon State
The terms of the plea agreement
that was entered into between the State of Alaska and Wade, and
approved by Superior Court Judge Philip Volland, are as follows:
(1) Mr. Wade pled guilty in
state court to intentionally causing the death of Mindy Schloss.
(2) Mr. Wade acknowledged the accuracy of the facts set forth
in the charging document regarding his murdering Mindy Schloss.
(3) Mr. Wade acknowledged that he had been fully advised by his
lawyers as to all of his pretrial and trial rights, including
the right to have his case presented to a grand jury and trial
by judge or jury. Mr. Wade agreed to waive those rights. Mr.
Wade acknowledged that he is of sound mind and fully mentally
(4) Mr. Wade agreed in state court that the arraignment, change
of plea, and sentencing all were to take place before the same
judge at the same time.
(5) Mr. Wade agreed in state court that the judge was to rely
upon the pre-sentence report that was prepared in connection
with the 2000 Della Brown case, as well as any federal pre-sentence
report made available to him.
(6) Mr. Wade admitted in state court that he murdered Della Brown
and agreed to the accuracy of the facts set forth in the charging
document filed in the new case regarding that murder. Mr. Wade
agreed that the judge was to take his confession to murdering
Della Brown and the facts regarding his committing that murder
into consideration in assessing the danger Mr. Wade presents
and in accepting and imposing the agreed-upon disposition in
the new case, which includes ineligibility for discretionary
(7) Mr. Wade agreed in state court to the judge imposing a sentence
of 99 years to serve.
(8) Mr. Wade agreed in state court to the judge denying the parole
board the power to release him on discretionary parole, on the
basis that the statutes allowing for discretionary parole are
insufficient to protect the public and rehabilitate him.
(9) Mr. Wade acknowledged that the State of Alaska has not made
any promise, and will not make any agreement, regarding the correctional
facility or facilities where he will serve his sentence, the
conditions therein or the availability of programs.
(10) Mr. Wade agreed in state court to waiving all appeal and
post-conviction relief rights, except for the right to challenge
the conviction and/or sentence on a claim of ineffective assistance
of counsel, which would be on grounds unknown now.
(11) The agreement Mr. Wade reached also included and incorporated
the written agreement he reached with the United States of America
that resulted in the U.S. District Court imposing a sentence
of life without the possibility of release.
Significance of Imposed
(1) The agreed-upon resolutions
in both state and federal court guarantee to the greatest extent
possible that Mr. Wade will be behind bars for the balance of
his life and that he will die in prison.
(2) They guarantee to the greatest extent possible that Mr. Wade
will not again prey upon and kill another woman.
(3) The resolutions demonstrate the fact that law enforcement
- including members of the Anchorage Police Department, the Alaska
State Troopers, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation -- and
prosecutors -- members of the State Attorney General's Office,
as well as those of the U.S. Attorney's Office -- never have
rested in their efforts to hold the murderer of Della Brown and
Mindy Schloss accountable.
(4) The resolutions in both state and federal court might afford
closure to the families and friends of Della Brown and Mindy
Schloss, as well as to other Alaskans.
(5) The agreed-upon resolutions in both state and federal court
reflect the years of close and coordinated efforts of the offices
of the Alaska Attorney General and United States Attorney regarding
the deaths of Della Brown and Mindy Schloss -- without which,
this final outcome would not have been possible.
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