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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Alaska

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Wasilla Teen Sentenced for Providing Marijuana to Minors

Accessory in Grunwald Murder; Provided Marijuana to Victim of Statutory Rape

Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that Devin Lee Peterson, 19, resident of Wasilla, Alaska, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Beistline to three years in prison, to be followed by four years of supervised release, for distribution of marijuana to minors.

The federal sentence will be consecutive to a pending state sentence of six-years to be imposed for Petersons’ role in obstructing the investigation into David Grunwald’s murder in November 2016, and his tampering of evidence from that case.

On the night of Nov. 13, 2016, four men assaulted and murdered David Grunwald in a secluded area near the Knik River off Old Glenn Highway.  Following the murder, the men drove to Peterson’s house.  Once there, Peterson took possession of the weapons used to assault and murder David Grunwald, and provided gas cans to the group that they used to burn Grunwald’s vehicle.

Alaska State Troopers subsequently obtained a search warrant to search Peterson’s phone.  During this examination, Troopers located a photograph of a 16-year-old female performing oral sex on Peterson.  In a subsequent examination, Troopers located a 10-second video showing the sexual assault of an incapacitated 15-year-old girl.  This video was taken at a party attended by Peterson and others in July 2016.  During the party, Peterson gave the girl marijuana, contributing to her extreme intoxication and subsequent assault.

At sentencing, Judge Beistline addressed Peterson’s role in the 15-year-old girl’s sexual assault, as well as his crimes in the Grunwald case.  “You’ve done great damage to the community,” said Judge Beistline.  Addressing Peterson’s criminal acts to that point in his young life, and his prospects going forward, Judge Beistline said, “You can’t ever pay back the families of these people you’ve injured, but you can demonstrate that you can be a better person than you have been in the past,” commented Judge Beistline.  Judge Beistline warned Peterson in no uncertain terms about the consequences of failing to change his ways, “You mess up again its pretty much over…no one is going to be thinking about mercy.” 

The Alaska State Troopers (AST) conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of this case.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Reardon.

Updated May 15, 2018