(NationalUSNews.com) — The Ice Axe Killer, Daniel Gunnarsson, will spend 27 years to life in prison for the murder of Katie Pham and violating her corpse after her death. A jury convicted Gunnarsson of first-degree murder and mutilating a corpse in August, and for the two offenses, Gunnarson will spend more than 27 years behind bars.
Though Gunnarsson is eligible for parole after the 27-year and four-month sentence ends, a parole board will likely deny any relief to the murderer for his gruesome acts against Pham. According to prosecutors, Gunnarsson harassed and terrorized Pham for months leading up to the murder, and the two shared a brief romantic relationship before Pham ended it. Following the end of the relationship, Gunnarsson began acting in a hostile manner towards Pham. One witness close to Pham claims that during a ride with Pham, Gunnarsson started to drive at high speeds and move erratically since Pham wasn’t actively paying attention to him. Another witness claims they heard Gunnarsson insulting Pham during a phone call for not wanting to go to his home.
According to authorities, Gunnarsson apologized to Pham in 2021 for his behavior and asked to pick her up and speak to her. Pham agreed, and the two returned to the home of Gunnarsson’s stepfather, where the murder occurred. Prosecutors claim that upon arriving at the residence, Gunnarsson took Pham into the garage and struck her in the head and neck with an ice axe repeatedly. After Pham died from the injuries, Gunnarsson began touching her body inappropriately and removing articles of her clothing.
Painters near the scene of the murder heard Pham’s screams and began to investigate, finding Gunnarsson in the garage covered in Pham’s blood. Gunnarsson’s trial made national headlines for the gruesome nature of Pham’s murder, and the ice axe murderer will likely die in prison. According to Pham’s father, the 27-year to life sentence against Gunnarsson is justice, and the community rocked by the horrible tragedy can begin the healing process. Gunnarsson hasn’t provided any comments or otherwise sought to speak to members of the press.
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