Anchorage police have now charged a total of five young people in the shooting death of 19-year-old Cynthia Hoffman.
Over the weekend, police arrested 18-year-old Denali Brehmer and 19-year-old Caleb Leyland, as well as two unnamed juveniles. They join 16-year-old Kayden McIntosh, who police say pulled the trigger, as alleged accomplices in what court documents describe as a plot to murder Hoffman.
Police say Leyland provided a car used in the murder. Leyland is also charged separately for sexual assault and sexual abuse of a minor based on alleged conduct that detectives say they learned about investigating Hoffman’s death.
According to the charges, McIntosh and Brehmer told detectives Hoffman had been driving with them north of Anchorage on June 2 and that she had agreed to be bound with duct tape so they could take pictures near or in the Eklutna River. But the charges say, when Hoffman started to panic, McIntosh shot her and pushed her into the river.
Hoffman’s family reported her missing the next day.
As reported by Anchorage TV station KTVA, Hoffman’s father, Timothy, told a judge in court Sunday that his daughter adored Brehmer.
“The only thing I know is that my daughter trusted these people,” Timothy Hoffman said. “My daughter just wanted friends, and now I have to bury her. And that is wrong.”
Police first arrested and charged McIntosh. According to the more recent charges against Brehmer, a corrections officer told detectives that McIntosh was telling people at the Anchorage jail that the murder had been Brehmer’s idea and that she had killed Hoffman.
The charges say Brehmer told detectives she and McIntosh had planned the trip, and that she handed McIntosh the gun and told him to shoot Hoffman because she could not do it. The charges also say Brehmer talked about the case in videos posted to SnapChat, in which she said she was sorry and “didn’t mean to do it.”
In court Sunday, Brehmer again seemed to admit she had some role in Hoffman’s murder.
“I know what I did was wrong, and I know I could’ve probably done something different if I was able to,” Behmer said.
According to the charges, Brehmer told detectives she had gone along with McIntosh, because she was afraid of him.
In court Sunday, Brehmer said she did not see herself as a killer.
“I don’t want my daughter knowing that her mom grew up a killer, because I don’t see myself as one,” Brehmer said.
The judge set Brehmer’s bail at $200,000 cash and Leyland’s bail Leyland at $240,000 cash.
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