Ex-Hawaii soldier gets life sentence for murder
MEDINA, Ohio » A former Hawaii-based soldier was sentenced to life in prison for strangling a man who lived with his estranged wife.
Shaun Cleland, 25, sat motionless throughout much of yesterday's hearing in Medina County Common Pleas Court.
Cleland pleaded guilty April 7 to aggravated murder, aggravated burglary and kidnapping in the October strangulation of David Heinricht, 19.
Before he was sentenced, Cleland told Judge James Kimbler, "Your honor, I am truly sorry for the death of this young man." Cleland must serve 28 years in prison with no chance of parole.
Heinricht had been living with Cleland's wife in Brunswick, about 25 miles south of Cleveland, while Cleland was serving in Iraq and Hawaii.
Gloria Glancy, Heinricht's mother, said not a day goes by that she does not dwell on the horrible memory of her son's death. "My David was a beautiful child," she said.
The killing was "an unprovoked, brutal murder," said prosecutor Dean Holman.
Cleland planned Heinricht's murder in Hawaii, where the Army was training him as a paramedic to be returned for duty in Iraq, Holman said. Prosecutors said Cleland tried to make the strangulation look like suicide.
Heinricht was found dead with a rope around his neck, police said. Cleland was later taken into custody at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport as he prepared to board a plane to Hawaii.
Defense attorney Frank Gasper said his client had not planned the killing, and described it as a "crime of passion."