ARIZONA NEWS

Brother of Luke airman charged with murder pleads guilty in related case

Aug 26, 2020, 7:00 PM
Sasha Krause (Facebook Photo/San Juan County Sheriff's Office, NM)
(Facebook Photo/San Juan County Sheriff's Office, NM)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The brother of a U.S. Air Force airman charged with murder has entered a plea agreement in a separate but related case that would spare him any time behind bars.

Samuel Gooch pleaded guilty Tuesday to a reduced charge of facilitation to commit hindering prosecution, which carries a maximum of two years in prison. Under the agreement with prosecutors, Gooch would receive probation.

Samuel Gooch’s attorney, Joshua Davidson, said he would reserve comment on the case until after the Oct. 5 sentencing.

The prosecution didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Authorities had accused Gooch of flying to Arizona from Wisconsin in early May to pick up what he thought was the rifle used in the shooting of 27-year-old Sasha Krause.

Davidson recently sought to have the indictment against Gooch dismissed or the case sent back to the grand jury because he argued a charge of attempting to hinder prosecution was based on actions in another county. That became moot after Davidson told the court the parties agreed to resolve the case without a trial.

Gooch’s younger brother, Mark Gooch, has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in the death of Krause. The 27-year-old woman disappeared from a Mennonite community where she lived near Farmington, New Mexico, and taught Sunday school in mid-January. Her body later was found in the forest outside Flagstaff.

Mark Gooch, who was stationed at Luke Air Force Base in metropolitan Phoenix, is jailed. But he recently asked the court to set bail after the deadline passed for prosecutors to seek the death penalty in his case.

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Brother of Luke airman charged with murder pleads guilty in related case