Accused killer was released from jail just hours before slayings

Michelle Theriault Boots
A broken window is boarded up at the apartment where the double homicide and sexual assault of a minor occurred on Saturday evening. 5/26/2013
Bill Roth
Jerry Andrew Active was arraigned on charges of murder and sexual assault of a minor in the Anchorage jail court on Sunday, May 26, 2013. The murders occurred on the same day he was released from his last stint in jail on a plea agreement.
Bill Roth
Jerry Andrew Active attempts to shield his face during his arraignment on charges of murder and sexual assault of a minor in the Anchorage jail court on Sunday, May 26, 2013
Bill Roth

At 8:09 a.m. on Saturday, Jerry Andrew Active walked out of the parking lot of the Anchorage Correctional Complex a free man after serving time for a probation violation, according to Alaska Department of Corrections records.

Less than twelve hours later, the 24-year-old is alleged to have killed an elderly couple and sexually assaulted their 2-year-old great-granddaughter after slipping through an open window at the family's Mountain View apartment.

Active was arrested Saturday night after the couple's grandson and his wife arrived home from a movie to find them dead and their daughter being assaulted. He has been charged with murder, sexual assault, sexual abuse of a minor and burglary. A judge set his bail at $1.5 million on Sunday after prosecutors argued his criminal history and the apparently random nature of the crime made him a grave risk to the public.

He is no stranger to Alaska's correctional system.

The 24-year-old has been "in and out" of jail since 2007, Kaci Schroeder, a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections, said Monday.

In 2009, he was arrested for sneaking into a Togiak home and attempting to sexually assault an 11-year-old girl while the family slept, then assaulting three members of the household, according to an account at the time from the Alaska State Troopers.

He was convicted the next year in a Dillingham court on charges of attempted sexual abuse of a minor and trespassing.

Active served his time on those charges at a variety of institutions, bouncing from Cook Inlet Pre-Trial to the Palmer Correctional Center, Hudson Correctional Facility in Colorado and Wildwood Correctional Center in Kenai, Schroeder said.

On Oct. 2, 2011, he was released and put on probation, she said.

He violated his probation over and over, sometimes being re-arrested on the very day he got out of jail, Schroeder said.

Records to detail what Active's violations were and the circumstances of his probation supervision weren't immediately available on Monday.

But what's clear is that he had a hard time staying out of jail.

From Oct. 2, 2011 to the moment police arrested him Saturday as he allegedly fled the scene of the killings Active had spent 18 days on the outside, according to a timeline released by the Department of Corrections.

"He messed up quickly and repeatedly," Schroeder said, each time earning a new, short jail sentence.

A registered sex offender, Active was required to update his address in order for it to be listed on a public database. The most recent update is from Feb. 27, 2013. He lists his address as the Anchorage Correctional Complex.

On May 25, he was released with an "approved housing plan," meaning the Corrections Department knew where he was supposed to be living, Schroeder said. The same was true with each of his prior releases, she said.

He wasn't required to report to a probation officer in person until the next business day, Schroeder said.

That would have been Tuesday.