Strawn sentenced to 88 years in murder of Brandon Cook

By June 20, 2018 June 28th, 2018 Crime & Courts, Juneau
Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige listens as as Christopher Strawn speaks during his sentencing hearing Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Juneau Superior Court. Strawn was sentenced to 88 years in prison in the murder of Brandon Cook. (Photo by Tripp J Crouse/KTOO)

Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige listens as Christopher Strawn speaks Wednesday during his sentencing hearing in Juneau Superior Court. Strawn was sentenced to 88 years in prison in the murder of Brandon Cook. (Photo by Tripp J Crouse/KTOO)

Updated | 4:23 p.m. Wednesday

Family and friends of Brandon Cook described him Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court as a son, a brother, an uncle — and a friend. But in October 2015, he was shot and killed.

On Wednesday, Christopher Strawn was sentenced to a total of 90 years in prison in Cook’s death.

Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg sentenced Christopher Strawn to 88 years for murder — and two years for assaulting Tiffany Johnson.

“Today justice was officially served,” Johnson said.

She was Cook’s friend and saw the shooting.

“I don’t feel like it’s enough. It’s a long time and of course he’s going to be sitting in a jail cell, but he took a life,” Johnson said. “Brandon was one of the best people I’ve ever met in my life. He’s not here. I can’t talk to him.”

In October 2015, Strawn, Cook and Johnson were renovating a trailer when Strawn pulled out a gun and fired at Cook, who was 30, from behind.

Strawn then fled, and Johnson hid in the trailer’s back room until police officers arrived.

Brandon Cook's father, Donald Cook, listens during Christopher Strawn as he speaks during his sentencing hearing Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Juneau Superior Court. (Photo by Tripp J Crouse/KTOO)

Brandon Cook’s father, Donald Cook, listens to Christopher Strawn as he speaks during his sentencing hearing Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court. (Photo by Tripp J Crouse/KTOO)

During the sentencing, Cook’s father, Donald Cook, spoke on behalf of the victim and broke down crying several times.

“The jury never knew about Brandon, you know,” the elder Cook said after proceedings. “He was a good person. Everybody who would meet him loved him.”

Strawn, who represented himself during the hearing, says he was “truly sorry for everybody’s loss.”

Strawn was arrested shortly after the October 2015 shooting at the Kodzoff Acres Trailer Park.

Donald Cook remembers the day police came to his door in Oklahoma to tell him the news.

“I kept hoping it was a bad dream, that I’d wake up and that it’d be a bad dream,” Cook said. “But it never did happen.”

Strawn stood trial — twice.

In February 2017, the first ended in mistrial. During the second trial in October of last year, Strawn ditched his public defender and represented himself, which ended up in a conviction.

Strawn, 34, will be eligible for parole in 30 years.


Original story | 12:50 p.m. Wednesday

Christopher Strawn has been sentenced to a total of 90 years in prison for the fatal shooting of Brandon Cook.

Strawn was arrested shortly after the October 2015 incident at the Kodzoff Acres Trailer Park. Strawn stood trial twice. The first trial early last year ended in a mistrial. Strawn ditched his public defender and represented himself during a second trial in October, which ended in a conviction.

Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg sentenced Strawn on Wednesday morning to 88 years for murder and two years for assault.

There was no suspended time, but Strawn, 34, will be eligible for parole in 30 years.

The two years for the assault charge is related to Tiffany Johnson, Cook’s friend, who witnessed the shooting. Strawn, Cook and Johnson were renovating the trailer when Strawn pulled out a firearm, believed to be a shotgun, and fired at 30-year-old Cook from behind. He then fled, and Johnson hid in the trailer’s back room until police officers arrived.

Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige listens as murder victim Brandon Cook's father, Donald Cook, speaks during the sentencing hearing for Christopher Strawn, who was convicted in the 2015 death of Brandon Cook. (Photo by Tripp J Crouse/KTOO)

Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige listens as murder victim Brandon Cook’s father, Donald Cook, speaks during the sentencing hearing for Christopher Strawn, who was convicted in the 2015 death of Brandon Cook. (Photo by Tripp J Crouse/KTOO)

During Wednesday’s sentencing, Cook’s father, Donald Cook, spoke on behalf of the victim and broke down crying several times while speaking.

“(Strawn) gets to wake up morning. His life goes on even if he’s in prison. He gets to live.”

Strawn, who represented himself during the hearing, said he was “truly sorry for everybody’s loss.”

This story will be updated.

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