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Anchorage man charged in uncle's stabbing death

Jerzy Shedlock

When Anchorage police responded to a “stabbing report” Wednesday night, they reportedly found Ralph Nayokpuk sitting outside a Mountain View residence with blood on his hands and pants, still talking to a police dispatcher on the phone.

Police and paramedics found a man, Ronald Mullins, in critical condition with multiple stab wounds, also outside the North Park Street home. Police say Nayokpuk and Mullins, who are related, got into an alcohol-fueled fight with each other. Mullins was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead.

Now, 38-year-old Nayokpuk faces two charges: first-degree murder and second-degree murder. He made his initial court appearance at the Anchorage Correctional Complex on Thursday. An Alaska District Court judge agreed to set bail at $500,000 and a third-party custodian, said Anchorage District Attorney’s Office paralegal Lacy Jensen.

The incident was reported at the 700 block of North Park Street just before 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

A preliminary investigation found that the two men were raised as stepbrothers and were living at the same home, according to a statement from Anchorage Police Department spokesperson Jennifer Castro. The charging document says Mullins was Nayokpuk’s uncle.

Sitting outside the residence, Nayokpuk told the first responding officer, “‘I’m so sorry I did this, I hope he is okay,’” the charging document says. He allegedly continued making similar statements spontaneously, like “‘I did not think I hurt him that bad, but evidently I did.’”

The accused murderer eventually told police an argument erupted while he’d been cutting up onions and garlic. Nayokpuk’s uncle made him mad, “so he stabbed him,” the charging document says.

Alma Mullins, the victim’s mother, told police Nayokpuk got angry at her son because he was going to call the police for an unspecified reason. Nayokpuk picked up a butcher knife and started stabbing his uncle, she told police.

Mullins’ girlfriend said during an interview with responding officers she was upstairs when Nayokpuk came home and started throwing things around the home downstairs. She said she went outside but moments later heard Mullins yelling for her. She rushed inside and found Nayokpuk stabbing Mullins, who was on the floor. 

Nayokpuk denied knowing how many times he stabbed Mullins. Castro said he stabbed Mullins multiple times in the chest and in the back.

Correction: An earlier version of this article included an incorrect age for Ralph Nayokpuk.