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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, July 15, 2006

Soldier gets life term for murder

Associated Press

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

Shaun Cleland, 25, was sentenced July 7 in a 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 Hawai'i.

Gloria Glancy, Heinricht's mother, said not a day goes by that she doesn't dwell on the 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 Hawai'i, 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 a 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 Hawai'i.

Defense attorney Frank Gasper said his client had not planned the killing and described it as a "crime of passion."