Alaska Teen Who Murdered 'Best Friend' Cynthia Hoffman After Catfish Offered $9M for Footage Gets 99 Years

Cynthia Hoffman (left), Denali Brehmer and lawyer (right)
Denali Brehmer (right with her attorney in court this week) received a sentence of 99 years after pleading guilty to the murder of Cynthia Hoffman (left)ACDAO

At the sentencing this week, Anchorage Assistant District Attorney Patrick J. McKay, Jr. spoke about how Cynthia "CeeCee" Hoffman, who had developmental disabilities according to her father Timothy Hoffman, considered Denali Brehmer her best friend.

A judge sentenced an Alaska woman to 99 years in prison for murdering her so-called "best friend."

Denali Dakota Skye Brehmer, then 19, filmed her friend killing Cynthia "CeeCee" Hoffman on June 2, 2019 after a man in Indiana offered her $9 million for footage of a murder, according to the Anchorage District Attorney's Office.

At the sentencing this week, Anchorage Assistant District Attorney Patrick J. McKay, Jr. spoke about how CeeCee, who had developmental disabilities according to her father Timothy, considered Brehmer her best friend.

Brehmer and Kayden McIntosh were the last two people to ever see Hoffman alive, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Inside Edition Digital.

McIntosh told detectives the three "were hanging out and all agreed to duct tape CeeCee and take photographs," according to the complaint.

CeeCee "started panicking and threatening to call the police on them," McIntosh told police, according to the complaint.

McIntosh allegedly said that he "shot CeeCee" and pushed her "twitching" body into a river, so he "does not know if she died from the gunshot wound or from drowning," alleges the complaint.

The Anchorage Police Department (APD) said in a statement that they later learned an Indiana man they identified as Darin Mitchell Schilmiller allegedly offered to pay Brehmer "$9 million or more to commit the murder and send him videos and/or photographs of the murder."

Brehmer then asked a few friends to help her carry out the murder in exchange for a significant sum of money for their part in the planning and/or execution of the murder, said the APD.

But Schilmiller did not have that money, officials said. He pleaded guilty to one count of solicitation to commit murder in the first degree in the case and received a sentence of 99 years in January, according to the Anchorage District Attorney's Office.

The first to enter a guilty plea in the case was Caleb Allen Russell Leyland, who Brehmer promised to pay $500,000 for supplying her with a vehicle, according to the complaint. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in November and is facing anywhere from 25 to 75 years in person at his sentencing in June.

McIntosh’s case is pending trial. His layer did not respond to a request for comment.

Brehmer and Schilmiller also pleaded guilty to a separate federal charge of conspiracy to produce child pornography in July of last year, according to the Department of Justice, for which they were both sentenced to 15 years in prison.

In his final remarks earlier this week, McKay said that while Brehmer may not have fired the bullet that ended Cynthia's life, she bore the brunt of the responsibility for the heinous act.

"She executed Cynthia Hoffman in a murder-for-hire plot. She conspired with numerous other individuals in and outside of Alaska, including juveniles, forever altering everybody’s life," McKay, Jr. said at the sentencing hearing. "She may not have pulled the trigger, but this never would have happened it if it weren’t for Denali Brehmer.”

The judge overseeing the case said while passing down his sentence that the video of Cynthia's death was "one of the most difficult pieces of evidence I’ve had to watch in this position."

He then said that he hoped that sentencing Brehmer to 99 years with no credit for time served would be a deterrence to others.

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