A Woman Has Been Sentenced to 99 Years in Prison for Her Involvement in the Murder of a Disabled Friend

Credits: 9News

An Alaskan woman has received a 99-year prison sentence for her role in orchestrating the murder of a disabled woman in a murder-for-hire scheme. Denali Brehmer, 23, was hoping to profit from a nine-million-USD offer from a man she believed to be a millionaire.

She was sentenced earlier this week by Anchorage Superior Court Judge Andrew Peterson for her involvement in the 2019 death of her friend, Cynthia Hoffman.

Although Brehmer did not physically carry out the murder, prosecutors argued that the crime would not have occurred without her involvement. Brehmer pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in February 2023.

Woman Sentenced to 99 Years in Prison (Credits: Knutsford Guardian)

Judge Peterson described Hoffman’s premeditated murder as “tragic and senseless” and noted that Brehmer showed no remorse. He expressed hope that her sentence would serve as a deterrent to others.

Darin Schilmiller of New Salisbury, Indiana, was also sentenced to 99 years in prison last month for his part in Hoffman’s murder. Authorities revealed that Schilmiller posed online as “Tyler,” a wealthy man from Kansas, and initiated an online relationship with Brehmer.

About three weeks before the murder, Brehmer and Schilmiller discussed a plan to rape and murder someone in Alaska, with Schilmiller’s only condition being proof of the killing in the form of photos or videos.

Brehmer agreed to the offer and enlisted the help of four friends, including Caleb Leyland and Kayden McIntosh, along with two unnamed juveniles.

Leyland is set to be sentenced in June, while McIntosh, believed to be the gunman, will be tried as an adult despite being 16 at the time of the murder. His case is awaiting trial.

The group took Hoffman to Thunderbird Falls, where she was bound with duct tape, shot in the back of the head, and thrown into the Eklutna River. Brehmer then falsely informed Hoffman’s family that they had dropped her off at an Anchorage park.

After her arrest, Brehmer revealed that she had been deceived by Schilmiller, who admitted to federal agents and the Indiana State Police that he selected Hoffman as the victim and instructed Brehmer to kill her.

He communicated with Brehmer throughout the killing and received photos and videos of the victim while she was bound and after her death.