LIVE COVERAGE: Airforce Airman Mark Gooch on Trial for Allegedly Murdering Mennonite Woman Sasha Krause
Happening In Court:
Direct Exam of Michael Madsen - Asst. Medical Examiner
Definition of Mennonite: The Mennonites are members of certain Christian groups belonging to the church communities of Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Friesland.
An Air Force airman charged with murdering a Mennonite woman and leaving her dead in the wilderness will stand trial in Coconino County, Arizona. Mark Gooch, 22, allegedly killed Sasha Krause, 27, and harbored a deep hostility for Mennonites even though (or perhaps because) he was raised as one.
Krause went missing January 2020 near her community near Farmington, New Mexico and wound up dead in a forest clearing outside Flagstaff, Arizona. These were more than four hours away by car.
A camper the following February said she found Krause dead while gathering firewood, according to KRQE. Deputies said the 27-year-old was bound with tape. She was shot in the back of the head. Gooch stole her head covering and underwear, authorities said.
They claim his cell phone was the only other one communicating with the same cell tower Krause’s phone was linked to when she went missing. Gooch, who was assigned to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, allegedly said he had visited Farmington, New Mexico, because he missed Mennonite fellowship and wanted to attend a service, according to WJLA. Cell phone data did not match his purported timeline, however.
Gooch also grew up in a Mennonite family but never formally joined the church. Brother Sam Gooch allegedly told authorities Mark Gooch held a grudge against the community. This same brother pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2020 to three years of probation, according to The Associated Press. The Wisconsin resident admitted traveling to Arizona to get the rifle he believed was used to kill Krause.
Incidentally, the Gooch brothers appear to share a contempt for the Mennonite community. A third brother, Jacob Gooch, resigned as a Virginia state trooper because of a text in which he reportedly told Mark and Sam that he gave a Mennonite man a ticket and cough on him “so he would spread Corona to the wedding they were going too. lol,” according to The Associated Press.
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