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Jerzy Shedlock

The trial of Leroy Dick Jr., who stands accused of killing village public safety officer Thomas Madole in the Bristol Bay village of Manokotak in March 2013, started Monday with jury selection. The shooting set in motion potential changes to rural law enforcement statewide.

Whether Dick ever again sees life outside a jail cell is up to jurors in Dillingham .

Dick shot and killed 54-year-old Madole, who was responding to a report of a possibly suicidal person at Dick’s home, according to the charges. An Alaska State Trooper wrote in an affidavit that Madole realized he was in danger after hearing threats and Dick loading a rifle. He tried to run but was shot several times...

Jerzy Shedlock

On July 30, 2012, Mark Stephin Horton committed himself to killing the woman he’d recently stopped dating and stabbed her repeatedly, according to state prosecutors who delivered their opening statements against Horton Wednesday in Anchorage Superior Court.

Horton’s ex-girlfriend survived, and jurors will decide whether to convict him of attempted murder, two assault charges and reckless endangerment.

Legal intern Sarah Park said in her opening statement that the 52-year-old violently assaulted Sharon Collins, “because if he couldn’t have her, no one else could.”

“Mark Horton stabbed Collins eight times while he yelled, ‘I’m going to kill you,’” she said...

Jerzy Shedlock

Smoke shop operator Michael Butler has been found guilty of defrauding the Municipality of Anchorage out of more than $1 million in cigarette taxes, according to the Alaska U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Jurors found Butler guilty on charges of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to make false statements about the distribution of cigarettes.

Butler was formally charged on July 18, 2013 along with seven other defendants: Kyong Hee Kim, Sun Sims, Kimberly Sims, Jae Ho Lee, Jae Gak Lee, Jerry Lee and Insook Baik. All of the co-defendants pleaded guilty prior to Butler’s conviction except Baik, who was acquitted at trial.

Assistant U.S. attorney Stephan Collins declined to comment on the single acquittal...

Jerzy Shedlock

Update, Nov. 6: Troopers have identified the victims of the fatal crash as Shane Yoder, 33, and William D. Thurlby, 74, of Fairbanks and North Pole, respectively. An investigation found that Yoder was driving the Kia sedan on Nordale Road when he lost control of his vehicle, troopers said. Yoder’s vehicle reportedly collided head-on with Marvin Carroll’s Ford truck. Thurlby was the passenger in the truck, troopers said. Carroll was extricated from the truck and taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital for treatment of “serious injuries,” troopers said.

Original story:

Two people were killed in a two-vehicle crash Wednesday afternoon in Fairbanks, according to Alaska State Troopers...

Tegan Hanlon,Jerzy Shedlock

Anchorage police have arrested a 26-year-old local man on multiple charges of sexual abuse of a minor.

The Anchorage Police Department’s Crimes Against Children Unit started its investigation of Timothy Lineer after receiving a report he had inappropriately touched a young girl, police reported in a release Tuesday.

After the investigation, police said they found Lineer had sexually abused two victims, a 5-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy.

Lineer faces six counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, four counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, two counts of “unlawful exploitation of a minor” and two counts of possessing child pornography...

Jerzy Shedlock

Anchorage police say they’re investigating what appears to be a home invasion of a Mountain View apartment Tuesday morning.

Police received reports at around 9:20 a.m. of a gunshot in a residence located on the 700 block of North Park Street, according to a news release.

Officers responded and identified a male victim. He reported that two men “had knocked on his apartment door, force their way into his home, and a physical altercation between him and the suspects ensued,” police said.

The man told police that during the scuffle, he retrieved his handgun and fired a warning shot inside the apartment. He also reported the two suspects fled the apartment through a window.

Police are describing the suspects as two men wearing dark clothing...

Jerzy Shedlock

Eight defendants in Texas, Arizona, California and Alaska have been charged in an alleged large-scale drug-trafficking conspiracy, attempting to sell nearly 100 pounds of various controlled substances in Alaska and launder money back to Mexico, according to the Alaska U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Law enforcement seized 50 pounds of heroin, 38 pounds of methamphetamine and about 11 pounds of cocaine during their investigation. They also took possession of $70,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Courter said the drugs have a wholesale value of $2.34 million. That’s if the drugs were resold in bulk quantities, like kilos and pounds, she said...

Jerzy Shedlock

A 51-year-old man was sentenced Friday in Anchorage Superior Court to 12 years in prison for possessing child pornography. The state argued repeat offenses and admission of “hands-on” sex abuse of minors made the defendant’s conduct worse.

Judge Michael Wolverton said he would have been inclined to sentence Randell Rowton above the high end of the presumptive sentencing range for possession of child porn, between 12 and 20 years, if he hadn’t heard from Rowton and his attorney.

“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Rowton told the judge. He asked the judge to impose a restriction on computer use upon release. That was what got him into trouble, he said...

Jerzy Shedlock

A head-on collision on the Seward Highway north of Girdwood late Friday morning killed one person and critically injured another, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Troopers said a Ford truck was traveling northbound around Mile 96 when the driver lost control. A Chevrolet sedan was traveling southbound and pulled to the side of the road, said Beth Ipsen, troopers spokeswoman, "we assume, to avoid the crash."

The vehicles collided head-on. A 911 caller reported the crash shortly before 11 a.m., troopers said.

Ipsen said the man driving the sedan was pronounced dead at the scene. The other driver was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries...

Tegan Hanlon,Jerzy Shedlock

Two Anchorage men were sentenced Thursday to months in prison nearly three years after a man dumped at a southside gas station with a gunshot wound led police to a sophisticated marijuana grow operation at his residence.

Michael Hedgpeth, 39, was sentenced to 120 days' jail time for various fourth-degree drug charges related to his pot operation, including the possession of more than 25 plants. Anchorage Superior Court Judge Larry Card said Hedgpeth was more culpable for the operation than his co-defendant.

Mark Purcella, 45, received two concurrent sentences of 197 days; one of the sentences related to marijuana charges, and another stemmed from police finding 21.5 grams of cocaine during a search of the residence, according to court testimony...

Jerzy Shedlock