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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, July 9, 2006

Former Hawai'i soldier gets life in prison for strangling

Associated Press

MEDINA, Ohio A former Army soldier who was stationed in Hawai'i has been sentenced to life in prison for strangling a man who lived with his estranged wife.

Shaun Cleland, 25, sat motionless throughout much of Friday'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 before becoming eligible for parole.

Heinricht had been living with Cleland's wife in Brunswick, about 25 miles south of Cleveland, while Cleland was serving in Iraq and Hawai'i.

Gloria Glancy, Heinricht's mother, said not a day goes by that she doesn't dwell on her son's death. "My David was a beautiful child," she said.

The killing was "an unprovoked, brutal murder," said Medina County Prosecutor Dean Holman.

Cleland planned Heinricht's murder in Hawai'i, where he was training 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 taken into custody at the airport as he prepared to board a plane to Hawai'i.