Teen robber guilty in deaths of his accomplices

Anchorage Daily News/ adn.comJuly 12, 2013 

A Superior Court jury convicted Brian Pfister Thursday of manslaughter for planning a robbery that ended when his accomplices were fatally shot by the man they were trying to rob, according to prosecutor James Fayette.

Pfister, 19, was also convicted of robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary.

Fayette argued at trial that though Pfister did not shoot the two men, Maurice T.R. Johnson, 19, and Joseph Trantham, 19, he put their lives at risk by planning the 2011 robbery and helping the two men get into an East Anchorage mobile home that was housing a marijuana-grow operation.

Pfister was a look-out for Johnson and Trantham, Fayette told jurors.. The two men, who were armed, allegedly burst into the mobile home and demanded the occupant, Larry James, 55, empty his safe. There was a gun inside the safe and James shot the two men dead. Pfister's co-defendant at trial, Ursula Pico, 22, who prosecutors said was the getaway driver, was acquitted. James was cleared of wrong-doing in the shooting deaths.

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