New charges filed in Bethel torture, slaying case

A Bethel grand jury indicted three men this week on new charges stemming from the torture and slaying of a teenager in the Southwest Alaska community, according to court records.

Bethel residents Jeffrey Hout and Harry Williams are accused of beating to death Hooper Bay resident Benjamin Kaiser, 19, whom they believed knew something about a missing truck, according to documents filed in court. Both were originally charged with first-degree murder.

In the new indictment, Hout and Williams are charged with kidnapping and second-degree murder. They are also charged with tampering with evidence, according to the indictment.

Police said a third man, David Kenney, saw Kaiser badly beaten and tied to a table saw at least 36 hours before another witnessed tipped off investigators, who found Kaiser dead in an apartment. Kenney was initially charged with hindering prosecution, and Anchorage airport police arrested him minutes before he boarded a plane from Anchorage to Seattle.

Kenney is charged in the new indictment with a separate count of tampering with evidence.

Anchorage Daily News