HOMER -- Nearly two years after a fatal traffic crash that killed a Washington, D.C., college student on the Sterling Highway outside Homer, Alaska State Troopers arrested a Kenai man and charged him with second-degree murder.
Alfred C. Jones, 48, was charged last week in the 2010 Memorial Day weekend death of Kathleen Benz, 25, a Georgetown University student visiting the state for a wedding.
Alaska State Trooper Casey Hershberger said in charging documents that methamphetamine, oxycodone, cocaine and marijuana were found in Jones' blood after the crash between Anchor Point and Homer.
Jones also was charged with eight counts of felony assault and felony tampering with evidence, plus driving under the influence, reckless driving, misconduct involving a controlled substance and criminal trespass.
Trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen told the Homer News it's not uncommon for charges to be filed two years after fatal car crashes. Washington State Police perform tests on toxicology samples, she said, and fatal car crash reports often are inches thick.
"There's a lot of things that have to be put together," Ipsen said. "There's a lot of information to compile and forward on to the district attorney's office."
According to troopers, Jones was driving north in his pickup truck toward Anchor Point at about 8 p.m. on May 29, 2010, and drifted over the center line.
Three cars dodged the pickup. However, according to troopers, a Subaru Forester driven by Daniel Fairchild, the fourth in the line of cars heading south, was struck by the pickup, which rolled into the southbound lane and forced a fifth car off the road.
Fairchild, Benz and a second passenger, Christine Hung, were rushed to South Peninsula Hospital. Benz had suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead two hours after the crash. Jones also was injured.
The occupants of the other vehicles told troopers that Jones had not tried to steer back into the northbound lane or avoid the other cars, and that they feared they would have crashed if the other drivers had not swerved.
In March, Jones was convicted in federal court in Nevada on one count of laundering drug money. He was one of 17 Kenai Peninsula residents charged in a conspiracy to launder money and distribute oxycodone that had been shipped from Nevada to Alaska. He was sentenced in April to 15 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
With credit for time served after his arrest, he is nearing the end of his sentence.
Prosecutors in the criminal complaint said Jones has 14 convictions in Alaska, including 12 for driving offenses and two for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The driving offenses included seven instances of driving with a revoked or suspended license.