Sawyer's family relieved by arrest

Cheryl Griffith knew from the beginning her daughter's death wasn't accidental. She has had to live with her thoughts and beliefs for almost nine years. Full Story
Janice Foran

Beaumont, TX

#1 Mar 7, 2006
Gretchen was like another daughter to me. I was also new to AK, and babysat Trace as a baby. The previous February, Gretchen read me a letter from Derek which stated "if she ever tried to leave, she would die first from an accident". I talked with her for over 2 hrs. that day. She and the children were to have dinner with us on the following Thursday (which was several days after she died). Our family loved her and always prayed the truth would come out. She loved her children so much; they were her world. She was a beautiful young woman. There are too many victims affected, including Derek's family (Penny, Dean & Bedean) & the children.
eve

Bellevue, WA

#2 May 31, 2007
does anyone have any iformation on the trial????
Yes

Anchorage, AK

#3 Jun 7, 2007
Guilty as charged :)
BAM

United States

#4 Jun 7, 2007
Gretchen's family is celebrating tonight with a bottle of champagne.
eve

Bellevue, WA

#5 Jun 8, 2007
Glenallen man found guilty of wife's death
by Jill Burke
Thursday, June 7, 2007
GLENALLEN, Alaska -- A father who blamed his wife's death on his 2-year-old child was unable to convince a jury of that story 10 years after the killing.
Last year, cold case prosecutors charged Derek Sawyer with the 1997 shooting death of his wife, Gretchen. Sawyer, however, had said the couple's toddler was to blame.
He said the child took the gun off of the kitchen table and carried it into the bedroom, where it went off.
Today, a jury convicted sawyer of first degree murder. His sentencing is scheduled to take place in November.
Terra

United States

#6 Jun 9, 2007
Guilty, finally!!!
UKN

Valdez, AK

#7 Dec 3, 2007
Janice, your testimony should've been heard in court...that sounds pretty pivitol, to me.
ARK-OKIE

Sherman, TX

#8 Feb 5, 2008
TO JANICE-IF U THINK GRETCHEN WAS BEAUTIFUL, YOU SHOULD SEE HER MOTHER. I AM SURE SHE APPRECIATED EVERYTHING U DID FOR GRETCHEN. I HOPE AND PRAY THE KIDS END UP WITH GRETCHEN'S FAMILY. THEY DESERVE TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR MATERNAL GRANDPARENTS. THEY HAVE BEEN KEPT FROM THEM FOR LONG ENOUGH. ANY NEWS ON THE SENTENCING?
ARK-OKIE

Sherman, TX

#9 Apr 2, 2008
YEE-HAW! I HEARD HE GOT 60 YEARS AND CANNOT EVEN BE ELIGIBLE FOR PAROLE UNTIL HE SERVES AT LEAST 20 OF THEM. I THINK HE SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN DEATH PENALTY, BUT SOME JUSTICE IS BETTER THAN NO JUSTICE. PRAY FOR GRETCHEN'S FAMILY
Cheyanne Meyer

Wasilla, AK

#10 Mar 28, 2009
Yes wrote:
Guilty as charged :)
Hey, you know what, I know Trace Sawyer, he is one of my best friends, and he doesn't believe his dad killed his wife. He was in the room when everything happened, I think he would know. Now shove that where the sun don't shine.
Cheyanne Meyer

Wasilla, AK

#11 Mar 28, 2009
traces dad is inocet everyone should now it
Meagan Smith cousin

Colorado Springs, CO

#12 Nov 10, 2009
Hello and thank you for all the support. I never got to meet my cousin thanks to this man so thanks to all that kept her and my aunt Cheryl and my younger cousins in your thoughts and prayers. Im am happy to know that he will be in jail for what he did.
Annie

Muncie, IN

#13 Jan 27, 2010
Cheyanne Meyer wrote:
<quoted text>
Hey, you know what, I know Trace Sawyer, he is one of my best friends, and he doesn't believe his dad killed his wife. He was in the room when everything happened, I think he would know. Now shove that where the sun don't shine.
He was 2 years old... I doubt if he would truly remember or understand what went on. As Gretchen's Aunt, I know what Gretchen's family went through. I am sure that you stand up for your friend, and that is great. But I believe that Justice has been served, and Gretchen can finally Rest In Peace.
jane doe

North Pole, AK

#14 Jun 17, 2010
Cheyanne Meyer wrote:
traces dad is inocet everyone should now it
guilty guilty guilty
jane doe

North Pole, AK

#15 Jun 17, 2010
guilty guilty guilty
Scott Wasankari

Eagle River, AK

#16 Dec 20, 2010
AND even though my wife and I KNEW Darick was a murdering FUCK after our divorce,Kristal moves herself AND my little girl in w/this cold blooded murderer! She just could not understand why a father such as myself could possibly be upset about the situation....I hung out w/Derick and I knew just by the way he spoke of the situation he was guilty.Especialy after he had been drinking..ANYWAYS,I was relived for Gretchens family,ESPECIALY poor Trace that was growing up beliving he killed his mother I mean think about it! He shot Gretchen point blank in the face w/a 357 mag! In the face!!! Then blames it on his son! Let me tell you,I have never been so scared for the safety of my little girl the 2 yrs my X wife Kristal moved herself and MY little girl in w/him! Just so Im straight,is it just my poluted imagination but is there any of you woman out there that would take a chance of moving your child in w/an accused killer or did I have a extrememly good reason to be concearned?
Scott Wasankari

Eagle River, AK

#17 Dec 20, 2010
AND I BELIVE THAT SOB SHOULD NEVER GET OUT OF PRISON! HE ALREADY AVOIDED PRISON,MOCKING THE LAW THE ENTIRE TIME FOR TEN LONG YEARS! Gretchens family.Jodasee or Trace will never be able to feel the love that woman was capable of,EVER AGAIN! 20 years! wtf...He desearves LIFE.......PERIOD!

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