Change of plea hearing set for suspect in Palmer teen death

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska A fourth suspect in the killing of a Palmer teenager is scheduled for a change of plea hearing.

Austin Barrett, 22, was arrested in 2016 in the death of David Grunwald. Barrett is scheduled for a change of plea haring at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Palmer Courthouse, KTUU-television reported .

Juries have convicted Erick Almandinger, Dominic Johnson and Bradley Renfro of first-degree murder in the November 2016 death of Grunwald.

Prosecutors say Grunwald was beaten with a pistol outside Almandinger’s home in Palmer and later shot in the head in a remote area near the Knik River.

A trial judge in January suppressed statements made by Barrett to investigators when he was taken into custody in 2016. Barrett initially agreed to answer questions. Shortly after questioning began, Barrett invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination. The judge ruled that statements he said in hours of questioning that followed could not be used against him, resulting in the dismissal of his indictment on a murder charge.

Prosecutors were given until the end of Feb. to decide whether to re-indict Barrett.