A woman jailed on murder charges Tuesday in the May slaying of a man in Minto admitted in a secretly recorded phone call that she stabbed him, according to a charging document.
An Alaska State Trooper listened as Carleen Charlie, 24, told her cousin she stabbed Jordan Baker, 26, the charges say. Charlie had earlier tried to pin the murder on another man. The assault in the Interior village occurred May 2.
Charlie allegedly told the cousin that Baker's last words were, "Why do you love me so much?"
Trooper Henry Ching's affidavit, part of the charging document, explains why troopers arrested Charlie:
Charlie called Baker's mother early May 2 and told her that he had been stabbed to death. Baker's mother told the village health aide, who went to the scene of the homicide and confirmed Baker was dead and appeared to have been stabbed. The health aide called troopers about 6:30 a.m.
Ching and another investigator arrived about 11:30 a.m. Baker's body remained at the scene, the home of Galen Frank.
"I found J.B. lying on the couch deceased with apparent multiple stab wounds to his upper torso area," Ching wrote. "Further investigation revealed there were bloodstains leading outside."
There was a knife in the snow near the home, and because the snow around it was undisturbed, it appeared to have been thrown there, Ching wrote. The troopers tracked down Charlie to talk to her. She was "covered in blood."
Charlie said she was at the Front Street home earlier that morning with Baker and a man described in the charges as "T. Frank." Baker said he wanted to be alone with the man, Charlie told the troopers, so she left. She said she came back about an hour later and saw Frank leaving with the hood of his sweatshirt pulled over his head. He bent down and picked up something, then continued to walk away. Charlie went inside and found Baker dead, she said.
Later that day, after the interview, Charlie stabbed herself in the stomach. She told the troopers she wanted to be with Baker and that "T. Frank" had killed him.
The troopers' investigation continued for more than two months without any arrests until this week, when Charlie's cousin in Anchorage called them on Tuesday. She said Charlie had confessed and said again that she wanted to kill herself.
The cousin, Bessareen Gonzalez, agreed to let Trooper Ching record a follow-up conversation with Charlie. Ching obtained special warrant that allowed him to record the call and flew to Anchorage.
In the phone call Tuesday, Charlie said she was angry the night she left Frank's house. She went home and grabbed a knife. When T. Frank left, Charlie said, she went inside and stabbed Baker about five times.
"C. Charlie stated that J.B. kept holding himself and she pushed him down on the couch," Ching wrote. "C. Charlie stated that she realized what she did and dropped the knife and looked at J.B. and told him sorry."
That was when Baker asked why she loved him so much.
The troopers later found Charlie at Gonzalez's home in Anchorage, where she had been staying, and arrested her. She is charged with first-degree murder. A judge set Charlie's bail at $200,000 cash. Her next court date is set for Friday in Fairbanks.
In a written statement, troopers described Charlie as Baker's former girlfriend. Baker's mother said in a phone interview that was not true.
Reach Casey Grove at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4589.