Former Marine pleads no contest in man's drowning

Posted: Friday, October 11, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A former Marine accused of drowning a man in Lake Spenard in 1998 has pleaded no contest to manslaughter.

Louie Crandall entered his plea Thursday in Anchorage Superior Court. He will be sentenced to no more than five years in prison. Sentencing was set for Feb. 7.

Crandall, 28, claimed that the victim, Gabe Jost, sexually abused Crandall's young daughter in early 1997. Police investigated the abuse complaint but didn't find enough evidence to prosecute.

Jost was last seen driving away with Crandall on Sept. 21, 1998.

Crandall said he planned to make a citizen's arrest and the two ended up struggling in the water.

Instead of calling an ambulance or police, Crandall sank Jost's body in the lake, where it remained all winter. It floated to the top with breakup and was recovered by police on May 5, 1999.

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