Three people sentenced in connection with 2015 murder

FAIRBANKS, Alaska Steven Hartman, Tirza Knix and Noah Griffith were all sentenced in superior court today.

The three were involved in a robbery that resulted in Ronald McKnight being shot six times and killed 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. McKnight was found dead the next morning by a neighbor who called the troopers.

An investigation lead to Hartman and his girlfriend Knix. Knix was accused of lying to prosecutors and hindering the prosecution. After the three were arrested, Griffith agreed to work with prosecutors in exchange for a lesser charge. Hartman heard about this while in jail and attempted arrange the murder of Griffith. Hartman, Knix and Griffith all took plea deals earlier this year.

Hartman pleaded guilty to second degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison. Knix, pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution in the first degree and was sentenced to three years’ probation and must complete conditions of parole then the case will be dismissed.

Griffith who was 18 at the time, pleaded guilty to robbery, burglary and theft. He was sentenced to 25 years with 20 years suspended. He will serve the five years on probation with an ankle monitor. Griffith was emotional as he spoke at the sentencing. He apologized to McKnight's brother who was at court and to his family and said he is working to turn his life around and doing well.