Convicted killer Jason Coday, 29, was sentenced Friday to serve the maximum sentence of 99 years in prison for the 2006 killing of Anchorage painting contractor Simone Kim.
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"One year and six days ago Mr. Coday took Kim's life," Juneau Superior Court Judge Michael Thompson said. "Today I'm effectively taking his."
Coday received two additional years of prison time for shortening the rifle he concealed and used to kill Kim. Coday becomes eligible for parole in 2046.
Thompson issued the sentence after hearing from all sides, including Kim's family. Metropolitan
Coday was convicted of first-degree murder and additional gun charges in May for randomly walking up to Kim and shooting him four times in the back as he lay curled up on the ground. No motive was offered by Coday or his defense.
District Attorney Doug Gardner sought the most that Alaska justice had to offer for first-degree murder, 99 years without parole.
Coday sat yawning, eyes half closed, as Gardner explained what a terrible man he was. Coday started out growing pot and raising fighting cocks, Gardner said. After a time, Coday developed into "a random, unpredictable killer," Gardner said.
"He has a desire to hurt people," Gardner said.
Questions were raised about Coday's mental state during the proceeding.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer Carl Boehmer testified that Coday rationalized terrorizing suburban Las Vegas families with a sawed off shotgun because the strangers were laughing and making fun of him.
"He wanted to show them how serious he was," Boehmer said.
Coday fired two shots before standing in the street yelling, "Where are the ... cops," Boehmer said.
Coday was arrested on weapons and drug charges five weeks before killing Kim behind the Juneau Fred Meyer. Las Vegas police released Coday, who then fled to Alaska. Two days after arriving in Juneau, Coday killed Kim with a sawed off .22 caliber rifle.
Arguing his no-parole request, Gardner said, "The probation officers don't want to supervise him, they don't know what his problem is. It's the 'unknown' question that makes him extremely dangerous."
Coday attacked defense attorney David Sied during his last court appearance. On Friday, 10 uniformed policemen were stationed around the courtroom. One officer sat between Coday and Sied, three more sat close by.
Sied argued that the first-degree murder charge and the circumstances of the random killing did not require a parole restriction. Coday is not the worst offender, Sied said.
"There are possible mental heath and substance abuse issues," he said, adding there was no evidence of premeditation or a motive. "We only have speculation on why this happened."
Kim's sister told Thompson she was against the ideas that Coday be rehabilitated instead of locked up for life.
"If the court believes in rehabilitation, they should bring back my brother," Anna Kim said. "I'd like him to share his future with his nieces and nephews."
Coday appeared to wipe away tears with his shackled hands as she read a poem written by the man he killed.
After handing down the sentence, Thompson described Coday as man whose behavior grew more irrational and more violent over time. Calling Coday a "ticking time-bomb," Thompson said, "The only issues was when he would explode, and who would be around."
Thompson did not grant the state's request that Coday's sentence be served without parole. Instead, Thompson left the decision to any future parole board.
"I'll not tell people what to do when Mr. Coday is 60 years old," he said.
Thompson made his decision believing that Coday was not likely to be rehabilitated.
"I think he would do this again if given the chance," Thompson said. "I would not get his hopes up."
Sied intends to file an appeal.
In the end, the judge's decision effectively met the state's request, Gardner said, "More or less life in prison."
Contact Greg Skinner at 523-2258 or firstname.lastname@example.org.