A Valdez man released from a hospital Thursday faces 15 felony charges in the kidnapping and attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend on the outskirts of the Prince William Sound city.
Nicholas K. Huff, 27, abducted the woman at gunpoint, beat her and threatened to kill her before she escaped, according to a grand jury's indictment. Huff shot himself in the chest during a standoff with officers, Valdez police said.
The grand jury indicted Huff on charges including kidnapping, attempted murder and assault. Huff admitted to pointing the gun at the woman but told police he only wanted to talk to her, according to a charging document.
The charges stem from the April 22 incident, described in detail in a Valdez police sergeant's affidavit. Here is what happened, according to Valdez police:
TO DIE TOGETHER
The woman, 24, told police she had just finished working a night shift and was parking her Dodge Nitro about 7:40 a.m. at her apartment building when she noticed someone in the driveway. He wore a black beanie and trench coat and a white bandana covering his face.
Huff banged on the driver's side window, demanding she open the door. She locked the door and put the car in reverse. Huff pulled out a handgun and fired a shot, shattering the window, police said. The bullet lodged in the steering wheel.
Huff opened the door, pushed the woman aside, and the two fought over the gold-colored gun. Huff hit the left side of her face with the weapon. That's when she first realized the man attacking her was her ex-boyfriend, she later told police.
Court records show the woman received a restraining order April 19 that prohibited Huff from coming near her or contacting her. She had applied for similar court orders on two previous occasions, but the orders were denied. A judge can deny such requests if the petitioner changes his or her mind or fails to show up in court to explain why they need the order.
As Huff backed the car out of the driveway, it hit a snowbank and he dropped the gun. The woman fought with him, but Huff hit her in the face again with the gun and knocked a tooth out of place. The woman's mouth was bleeding. She started to think Huff would kill her, she told police. The pair struggled over the gun and Huff shot again in her direction. He later claimed she had hit his hand, accidentally causing the gun to fire. Huff drove the car onto the Richardson Highway and was yelling.
He seemed drunk, the woman said, and sped up to 90 mph.
"Huff tells (her) they are going to talk and are going to die together," the affidavit says.
Huff drove to a house owned by his parents, down the highway from Valdez, where he and the woman had lived about a year together. As they walked from the car to the house, Huff tossed the woman's cellphone and keys in the snow.
Near the front door was a "goodbye" note. It read, "Cops don't come inside," according to the affidavit.
The woman ran onto the front porch of a house across the street and yelled for help, with Huff following behind. The door was locked and nobody answered. Huff slammed her head into the door, then grabbed her by the hair and threw her off the porch. She landed on her hands and knees in a puddle. Huff then forced her back to his parents' house, where he pressed the gun barrel hard into her neck. The woman was sitting on a couch when Huff grabbed a shotgun and pointed it between her eyes, asking if she "wants to feel this," the affidavit says.
Huff ordered the woman to take off her clothes and take a shower. She washed off the blood and mud. After the shower, Huff told her what he wanted.
"Huff directs (her) to his bedroom where he shows her his new red sheets and tells her his plan is to watch (the movie) 'Corpse Bride,' have sex and then kill her. At which point he started the movie 'Corpse Bride,' " the affidavit says.
The woman pleaded with Huff to let her go and told him she would tell people she was in a car wreck to explain the injuries. Huff, who was getting groggy, agreed and went to find the woman's cellphone. She noticed that Huff seemed to get stuck in the snow looking for the phone, so she ran to her car. She found her keys on the ground and drove away, with Huff chasing.
Back at the apartments, she parked her car between two buildings so Huff would not see it. A neighbor heard the woman screaming and called 911. Police officers interviewed her, and medics took her to a hospital.
A police sergeant, an officer and an Alaska State Trooper drove to Huff's house and set up a perimeter. The sergeant called Huff, who admitted to violating the restraining order and firing a gun twice, on accident, he said. Huff said he had pointed the gun at his ex-girlfriend because he wanted to talk to her.
About an hour later, as Huff continued to talk to police, he fired what he called a warning shot over the heads of two officers. Another hour or so later, Huff shot himself in the chest with the handgun.
According to a written statement from Valdez police, Huff walked outside and collapsed in the driveway. A Valdez ambulance crew rushed Huff to the hospital, and he was flown to Anchorage where he received treatment at Alaska Native Medical Center.
Inside Huff's house, officers found a .380 Colt pistol, a camouflage-painted, 20-gauge shotgun and blood in the shower, from which they collected a sample.
Hospital staff discharged Huff on Thursday and officers arrested him, the police statement says. Huff is jailed in Anchorage and held on $550,000 cash bail, court records show.
He is charged with one felony counts of kidnapping, attempted murder, stalking, weapons misconduct and coercion, as well as 10 felony counts of assault. He faces misdemeanor charges of trespassing, violating a protective order, unlawful contact, violating conditions of release, reckless driving, weapons misconduct and two misdemeanor counts of assault.
"Huff admittedly intended to have sex with and then kill (the woman), taking substantial steps to do so, after having already committed the crime of kidnapping," the affidavit says.
Huff is set to appear in court in Valdez on Friday.
Reach Casey Grove at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4589.