Hearing Set for Airman Charged in Sunday School Teacher’s Death

Luke Air Force Base
Luke Air Force Base (Jensen Stidham/U.S. Air Force)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A May 1 bond hearing has been scheduled in Flagstaff for a U.S. Air Force airman charged with murder and kidnapping in the death of a Sunday school teacher who had been living in New Mexico.

Attorneys argued at a hearing Friday over whether Mark Gooch was eligible for bond on charges that he kidnapped and killed 27-year-old Sasha Krause. But the judge didn’t make a bail decision and instead scheduled a hearing for next week.

Krause had been living among other members of the Mennonite community in Farmington, New Mexico, for about 18 months before she disappeared Jan. 18.

Her body was found Feb. 24 along a forest road just outside Flagstaff with head injuries and in the same clothing she was wearing when she disappeared, authorities said.

Prosecutor Ammon Barker said Gooch had no known direct connection to Krause, though he did have ties to the Mennonite community.

Gooch, 21, who is now jailed in Flagstaff, should be denied bail or face a $2 million bond because he is at risk of fleeing from authorities and poses a danger to the community, Barker said.

Gooch’s attorney, Matthew Springer, argued his client should get a reasonable bond and said Gooch doesn’t have a criminal history and is entitled to the presumption of innocence. Springer didn’t immediately return a phone call after Friday’s hearing seeking comment.

Gooch, who hasn’t yet entered a plea to the charges, was arrested Tuesday at Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix, where he was stationed.

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