FAIRBANKS - A 23-year-old Fairbanks man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for a killing at the Frontier Lodge.
Steven L. Sawyer pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder in connection with the death of 35-year-old Rick Anthony Martin of Fairbanks last April. A lesser count of tampering with evidence was dismissed.
Both the plea and sentencing occurred at a hearing in Fairbanks on Friday.
Martin's mother, Pat, said she and her husband, were unhappy with how Sawyer's plea agreement with prosecutors played out. The Martins said they did not previously know that prosecutors were discussing a deal.
"The fact is that we were not even notified about the hearing," she said. "It's just by luck we were able to attend. Had we known, we would have had the rest of the family attend."
According to authorities, Sawyer struck Martin with a glass bottle following an altercation about either beer or borrowed CDs. An autopsy determined that blunt force trauma to the head was the cause of death.
Evidence at the scene suggested that Martin was killed inside Sawyer's room at the lodge and his body was dragged down the hallway to his own room where his body was found April 19, authorities said. Sawyer reportedly told a friend he tried to make it look like Martin accidentally struck his head.
"He should be sentenced for second-degree murder," John Martin said, referring to the maximum penalty of 99 years for the charge. "I mean, he killed my son and drug him around a corner 45 yards and just left him in a room."
Sawyer's attorney said Martin had pulled a knife on Sawyer to provoke him.
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