Oregon Man Receives 50-Year Sentence for 1978 Murder of 16-Year-Old Girl in Alaska

Oregon Man Receives 50-Year Sentence for 1978 Murder of 16-Year-Old Girl in Alaska

Alaska’s Anchorage In 1978, he killed a 16-year-old girl in Alaska and was found guilty. On Friday, he was given 50 years in jail.

The Anchorage Daily News reported that 67-year-old Donald McQuade told Superior Court Judge Andrew Peterson that he is not guilty and did not kill Shelley Connolly. In December, McQuade was found guilty of murder in the death of Connolly. His body was found near a highway stop in 1978, between Anchorage and Girdwood.

In an interview, McQuade said he plans to fight his conviction.

Investigators made a DNA profile of Connolly from swabs taken from her body years after she died. In 2019, they used genetic genealogy testing, which compares a DNA profile to known profiles in genealogical records to find people who share the same genetic information. McQuade matched the DNA profile, which was shown by DNA tests. Police in Oregon got the DNA by collecting cigarette ends that McQuade had thrown away in public.

Assistant attorney general Erin McCarthy wrote in a sentencing statement that McQuade did not seem to have known Connolly before she died.

Prosecutors said the term gives friends and family some peace of mind. It was too late for Connolly’s mother to see a conclusion.

Peterson said that McQuade was going to get a life sentence no matter what. Benjamin Dresner, McQuade’s lawyer, said that his client is no longer sick with severe liver cancer. Dresner asked that McQuade get the bare minimum sentence, which is 20 years in jail.

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