Fairbanks man pleads guilty to murder, trying to murder an accomplice

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - A local man pleaded guilty to second degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder Monday morning. Steven John Hartman, 41 of Fairbanks, was originally charged with first degree murder in the death of an acquaintance, Ronald McKnight, in December of 2015.

According to charging documents, Hartman was at McKnight's house the night before the murder. He then returned to the house with Noah Griffith. According to the district attorney, Hartman told Griffith that he was going to rob McKnight and might have to kill him.

After an investigation that lead to the arrest of Hartman and Griffith, Griffith agreed to testify against Hartman if his charges would be dropped.

While Hartman was in jail he attempted to arrange the murder of Griffith. The plea deal lowered Hartman's murder charge from first to second degree and dropped multiple charges. However, Hartman did have to admit to the conduct related to the charges.

Hartman will be sentenced later this year.