99-Year Sentence in Klawock Murder
December 19, 2019
A Sitka jury convicted Macasaet in May after a two-week trial. State prosecutors Charles Agerter and Paul Miovas presented evidence that Macasaet strangled Guthrie to death with a string from her hooded sweatshirt during an argument, killing her. The next day, Macasaet reported Guthrie as missing.
On the morning of Guthrie’s disappearance, local law enforcement officers from the Klawock Police Department, Craig Police Department and Alaska State Troopers worked closely together, diligently searching for Guthrie. They were immediately suspicious of Macasaet’s version of the events and concerned Macasaet may have been involved in her disappearance. When Guthrie’s half-clothed body was found partially submerged in a puddle off a local logging trail, they requested the assistance of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation (ABI), an Anchorage-based unit of the Alaska State Troopers that provides statewide support with serious crimes. Investigators from ABI immediately deployed to the area to lend specialized assistance.
In his sentencing memorandum to the court, Assistant District Attorney Charles Agerter detailed the victim’s devotion to her culture and community and emphasized her mentorship of the younger generation through her work at the Boys and Girls Club in Klawock. Assistant District Attorney Agerter asked the court to find Macasaet a “worst offender” under the law and sentence him to maximum term of imprisonment.
The court found that Macasaet had shown no remorse for his killing of Guthrie and sentenced him to the 99-year term of imprisonment. Macasaet previously had been convicted of felony assault after strangling Ms. Guthrie.
The victim’s mother and father did not testify at Macasaet’s sentencing but chose to have a representative from the Alaska Office of Victims’ Rights read their victim impact statements to the court.
The State of Alaska extended its deep gratitude to the family of Judylee Guthrie for their support during the long process of achieving justice.
The State also thanked the law enforcement responders of the Alaska State Troopers, Craig Police Department and Klawock Police Department who showed utmost skill and professionalism in their initial investigation and preservation of a chaotic crime scene. Their work and that of investigators from the statewide Alaska Bureau of Investigation were absolutely instrumental in the prosecution of the case.
The State stated violence against women is taken very seriously, and this case serves as an example of what can be achieved in rural communities when various law enforcement agencies work collaboratively.
Edited By Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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