Man gets 60-year sentence for 1996 Anchorage homicide

Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 25-yar-old man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for the 1996 death of a teenager in Anchorage.

Joshua Wagner was sentenced Friday in Anchorage Superior Court. Wagner had tried for two years to plead guilty to the first-degree murder of Joseph Gonzalez, but was thwarted by defense attorneys who argued he was not mentally competent to do so.

Judge Elaine Andrews finally accepted his guilty plea Tuesday.

Psychiatrists have said that Wagner suffers from an illness variously diagnosed as schizophreniform disorder, psychosis with drug dependence, antisocial personality disorder, schizo-affective disorder with depression, anxiety and paranoia.

Wagner admitted shooting the 15-year-old Gonzalez during a 1996 gang disturbance in Spenard. He was in jail for a robbery conviction five years later when he called police and confessed to the murder.

Wagner asked for the maximum penalty of 99 years.

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