Woman Receives 99-Year Sentence Following Teen’s Duct Taping, Shooting, and Dumping in River

A judge has handed down a staggering sentence of nearly a century in prison for a 23-year-old woman convicted in connection with the murder of 19-year-old Cynthia Hoffman, who was tragically shot and discarded in a river as part of a heinous murder-for-hire scheme.

Denali Brehmer, according to an announcement from the Alaska Department of Law on Monday, February 12th, has been sentenced to serve 99 years in prison, with no possibility of parole, for her pivotal role in the murder plot. Brehmer had pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in February 2023, as part of a plea agreement that saw several other charges dropped, including conspiracy to commit murder, solicitation, tampering with evidence, and additional murder charges.

In delivering the sentence, Judge Andrew Peterson condemned the senseless nature of Hoffman’s killing and characterized Brehmer’s actions as chillingly calculated and executed with precision.

The case implicated three other individuals. Brehmer’s co-conspirator, Darin Schilmiller, was found to have solicited Brehmer’s involvement in the murder, while also coercing a minor to produce explicit images. Both Schilmiller and Brehmer pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges related to child pornography production in 2023. Schilmiller, who had lured Brehmer into the plot by posing as someone willing to pay her millions to carry out the murder, was sentenced to 99 years in prison for solicitation to commit murder.

According to court documents, the events leading to Hoffman’s death unfolded on June 2, 2019, when she was reported missing to Anchorage Police. Brehmer initially claimed that she, along with McIntosh and Hoffman, had ventured into the woods for recreational activities. However, it was revealed that this was a ruse to lure Hoffman to her death. Hoffman was bound with duct tape by Brehmer and McIntosh, who then fatally shot her in the head and disposed of her body in a creek.

A third accomplice, Caleb Leyland, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in November 2023. He had facilitated the murder by allowing Brehmer and McIntosh to use his car in exchange for payment. Leyland faces a maximum sentence of 75 years, with 25 years potentially suspended.

As for McIntosh, they are currently awaiting trial for their involvement in the crime.

The brutal murder of Cynthia Hoffman stands as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of greed, manipulation, and violence, leaving behind a grieving family and a community grappling with the aftermath of such a senseless tragedy.