Grand jury indicts pair in murder, evidence tampering

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A state grand jury Friday charged Peter Andrews with first-degree murder in the death of Rachael J. Peace.

Andrews, 18, was indicted on one count of murder, one count of conspiracy to commit murder, two counts of tampering with physical evidence, two counts of theft, one count of vehicle theft and one count of coercion.

A man charged as an accomplice in disposing of Peace's body, Garrell Byrd, 18, was indicted on two counts of hindering prosecution and two counts of tampering with physical evidence.

For the murder charge, Andrews faces a maximum penalty of 99 years. Byrd faces a maximum of five years for each felony charge.

A judge will decide if a 14-year-old, identified in court documents as Byrd's younger brother, is waived into adult court for the murder charge, said assistant district attorney Mary Anne Henry. He has not been named.

Generally, anyone 15 or younger charged with murder will go through a mini-trial and a judge will decide if the defendant qualifies for adult court, Henry said.

Investigators said Peace, 20, was strangled early Aug. 8 in the Anchorage apartment she shared with Andrews. Andrews and the 14-year-old allegedly planned for weeks to kill Peace. Prosecutors said they wanted to sell her truck and steal $6,000 from her bank account.

Byrd is accused of helping burn Peace's body, found later Aug. 8 in Girdwood near a popular trail head.

Andrews also threatened the others if they went to police with information about the murder, Henry said.

They were arrested the next day.

The arraignment for Andrews and Byrd was set for Tuesday.

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