Anchorage man faces sentence for tampering charge

Posted: Thursday, September 04, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) A man acquitted of a notorious Anchorage murder has agreed to accept a 6 1/2 year prison term for his conviction on a tampering with evidence charge.

Joshua Wade, 23, was scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in Anchorage Superior Court.

Wade was acquitted in April of the most serious charges associated with the 2000 beating death of Della Brown. Jurors convicted him only of messing up the crime scene by bringing people to see Brown's body inside the derelict shack where she was found.

The maximum sentence for tampering with evidence is five years. Wade also will not contest the state's recommendation that he also be required to serve 18 months of suspended time from a June 2000 gun possession conviction. He violated that parole by committing the tampering offense.

Defense attorney Cindy Strout said her client accepts that his tampering with the crime scene ''interfered with the investigation in a pretty serious way'' and is prepared to do maximum time for it.

Wade has been in jail since his arrest almost three years ago. Depending on how the Department of Corrections rates his behavior while incarcerated, he could be released within months on what is called ''good time'' parole.

Brown, 33, was found dead by police on Sept. 2, 2000. The medical examiner concluded her head had been caved in by multiple blows from a hard object with an uneven surface. Police said Wade found her passed-out drunk and killed her in a rage after robbing and raping her.

Brown's body was discovered in a position suggesting rape, but semen found in her did not belong to Wade. Prosecutors were unable to link it or other forensic evidence from the scene to anyone else. A bloody fingerprint from the scene also did not belong to Wade, according to testimony by experts during the trial.

Wade was among a group of youths who were hanging around the neighborhood at the time Brown was killed. He told several of his colleagues that he killed her and took them to view her body. He later said he just happened on the body and pretended to have killed Brown to impress his friends.

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