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Jerzy Shedlock

Superior Court Judge Jack Smith handed down a 40-year sentence Friday against Terence Gray, 33, exceeding the typical prison term of 20 to 30 years for second-degree murder convictions.

Gray was found guilty of that charge in July for shooting Edwing Matos to death in the Dimond Center mall in February 2010. Jurors acquitted Gray of first-degree murder, as well as attempted first-degree murder and two assault charges.

The state noted the rash of shooting deaths in Anchorage this week and argued a stiff sentence for Gray might deter criminals. Smith said Gray would be sentenced for his actions alone but recognized the spike in deaths...

Jerzy Shedlock

For four consecutive days this week, people in Anchorage woke up to news of a local shooting resulting in death or injury. At a press conference Thursday , Anchorage Police Department Chief Mark Mew said the jump in violence appears to be drug-related and announced APD is creating a temporary task force in an effort to suppress those crimes.

“Of the four homicides, all of them are connected to marijuana, as well as other drugs,” Mew said. “Something’s going on in the drug world right now.”...

Jerzy Shedlock

Former public safety advocate Dwight “Sam” O’Connor is once again in an Anchorage courtroom on an allegation of sexual assault, as the state has opted to retry him on a single charge.

Jurors found O’Connor not guilty of two first-degree sexual assault charges a year ago. They were unable to agree on one remaining count of sexual assault, and Superior Court judge Kevin Saxby declared a mistrial for that charge.

Assistant District Attorney Jenna Gruenstein said in an email that the state is retrying O’Connor on the undecided charge. She said jury selection started Monday and would likely take several days...

Jerzy Shedlock

Anchorage police have arrested a 14-year-old suspected of fatally shooting an 18-year-old outside a Midtown drugstore Sunday. The shooting was the result of a drug deal gone awry, police said.

Detectives have detained the teen suspect but have not released his name. Police said that because of his age, the case will be referred to the state’s Division of Juvenile Justice for possible delinquency proceedings.

Few details were released Sunday evening when police responded to a report of an apparent shooting victim in the area of Lake Otis Parkway and Tudor Road just after 8:30 p.m...

Jerzy Shedlock

A Lower Kalskag man has been arrested on multiple charges including assault and driving under the influence after the SUV he was driving collided with a four-wheeler carrying four juveniles, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Village resident Billy Williams, 47, was arrested on four counts of third-degree assault, criminal mischief, DUI and driving with a suspended or revoked license, troopers said.

Troopers’ information officer Megan Peters said the four-wheeler’s passengers were 12, 15 and two 16-year-olds. The older teens were injured, treated and released, she said; one of them may need follow-up treatment.

Lower Kalskag Mayor Yago Evan Jr. declined to comment on the collision...

Jerzy Shedlock

Stephen Palmer, a former Alaska crime lab analyst charged with stealing drugs on the job and using them to feed an addiction, pleaded guilty to several offenses on Friday in Anchorage Superior Court.

Judge Michael Spaan accepted Palmer’s guilty pleas to five charges: second-degree theft, tampering with physical evidence, two counts of fourth-degree misconduct with illegal drugs and “official misconduct,” according to the Alaska Department of Law.

The official misconduct misdemeanor charge means Palmer used his government position to commit a crime. All other charges are felonies carrying maximum five-year prison terms and $50,000 fines.

Palmer originally faced six felonies, including scheme to defraud and a second-degree drug charge...

Jerzy Shedlock

Anchorage police reported Friday that 39-year-old Simi Seu has been charged with third-degree sexual abuse of a minor and three counts of harassment for touching multiple young girls at a local church.

Seu may have additional underage victims, police said.

Detectives began investigating Seu in late December 2014 after receiving a report that he’d been inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl while attending a local church, the First Samoan United Methodist Church.

The investigation found Seu “was also inappropriately touching other female juveniles,” police said. The majority of the abuse occurred at the church, they said...

Jerzy Shedlock

David Matthew Lopez, 26, was sentenced Tuesday in Anchorage Superior Court to 62 years in prison for shooting his wife to death after the Office of Children’s Services took temporary custody of their child.

Superior Court Judge Philip Volland imposed another year for threats Lopez made to state child-protection employees. The state workers said during the hearing that Lopez made them fear for their lives.

Lopez was found guilty in June of killing Sara Lopez in December 2012. Jurors convicted Lopez of first- and second-degree murder, terroristic threatening and resisting arrest.

Lopez was drunk the night he shot Sara, and he had stopped taking depression medication. There were also 15 loaded weapons in the Lopezes' home, according to testimony...

Jerzy Shedlock

Three convicted sex offenders were sentenced in four criminal cases last week in Anchorage and the Aleutian community of Sand Point.

On Jan. 16, District Court Judge Daniel Schally sentenced 26-year-old James Griffith in Sand Point to eight years in prison for sexually abusing an autistic 7-year-old, according to the Alaska Department of Law.

Griffith received an additional five years behind bars in a separate case for trying to sexually abuse another child while out on conditions of release set in the first case.

Sand Point is a community of about 950 residents in the eastern Aleutian Islands off the Alaska Peninsula, 570 miles from Anchorage.

That same day, two Anchorage residents received jail time for child pornography charges...

Jerzy Shedlock

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says a 45-year-old Billings, Montana, man has been sentenced for the sale of unlawfully taken and possessed wildlife on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the latest in a string of convictions stemming from an investigation into the defunct Alaska guide service Fair Chase Hunts.

Jason J. Kummerfeldt pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a violation of the Lacey Act. U.S. Magistrate Judge Scott Oravec in Fairbanks imposed a $3,000 fine and barred Kummerfeldt from big game guiding for two years and hunting for six months.

A second hunting charge was dismissed when Kummerfeldt entered his plea, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office...

Jerzy Shedlock

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