Jerzy Shedlock

Sen. Berta Gardner, D-Anchorage, has introduced legislation that would require an audit to determine if the state’s Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory has a backlog of untested rape kits.

Rape kits, or sexual assault examination kits, are collected after claims of sexual assault and can provide DNA of alleged assailants. Most rape kits collected in Alaska are tested at the crime lab, though federal agencies use the FBI’s laboratory...

Jerzy Shedlock

The Alaska Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault has re-evaluated the growth of its prevention programs after money from former Gov. Sean Parnell’s “Choose Respect” campaign was halved in the ongoing budget crunch.

Behind an overhaul of the state's oil taxes, Choose Respect was perhaps the hallmark initiative of the Parnell administration. But with a new governor in office, and an increasingly dire budget situation in the face of low oil prices, Choose Respect is among the programs and services that are likely to see cuts when a new budget is finalized for fiscal year 2016...

Jerzy Shedlock

Tidiane Kone was sentenced in Anchorage Superior Court on Monday to 68 years in prison for killing Adrian Beaver, who prosecutors said was stabbed 15 times.

Kone, 33, was charged in August 2012 for killing Beaver. He was out on bail for an assault charge when the murder occurred.

Kone told police he tried to call 911 after being mugged by Beaver and Lovie Houston when a drug deal went awry. The state argued Kone armed himself and went looking for revenge.

When given a chance to speak, Kone apologized to members of the victim’s family sitting in the courtroom, but he maintained his argument that prosecutors lied to get him convicted...

Jerzy Shedlock

On Sept. 18, Dimitrios Alexiadis was supposed to be sentenced for abusing his newborn child over the course of three months, but the sentencing has been repeatedly postponed after an Anchorage Superior Court judge rejected his plea agreement as too lenient.

Alexiadis, 23, pleaded guilty in May to a charge of second-degree assault. Prosecutors say he took his anger out on the infant, inflicting “sustained” abuse that resulted in multiple bone fractures.

The state asked for a sentence of three years with 18 months suspended while the defense asked for one year of active jail time. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years...

Jerzy Shedlock

Matthew John Jones, 27, was sentenced on Friday to 35 1/2 years in prison for raping a young woman beneath a downtown Anchorage bridge in August 2012.

In June, a jury found Jones guilty of three sexual assault charges and harassment.

Anchorage police arrested Jones shortly after the sexual assault. He was walking east down Third Avenue away from the northbound portion of the bridge that connects downtown to the neighborhood of Government Hill, assistant district attorney Jonas Walker said during trial...

Jerzy Shedlock

Jamie Cordell, 43, was sentenced Thursday in Anchorage Superior Court to 29 years in prison for sexually abusing his daughter over four years, prosecutors said.

Jurors found Cordell guilty of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and two counts of the same charge in the second degree. The abuse occurred in 2008, 2009 and 2011 in the Big Lake and Wasilla areas and Anchorage, assistant district attorney Jason Gist said in an email.

Cordell has to serve about 20 years before he’s eligible for parole, Gist said.

Judge Kevin Saxby also imposed five years of suspended jail time and 15 years of probation...

Jerzy Shedlock

Alaska often tops rankings for undesirable characteristics , but when it comes to white-collar crimes like identity theft and fraud, it falls in the middle and back of the pack. Still, officials say there are a variety of ways scammers operate in Alaska, and warn residents to be on alert for possible fraud.

The Alaska rankings come from annual data released last month by the Federal Trade Commission. Among the general findings of the report: Identity theft tops consumer complaints nationwide...

Jerzy Shedlock

Anchorage police have identified the man struck by a vehicle and killed at Benson Boulevard and the Seward Highway on Wednesday as 51-year-old Russell G. Place.

Place’s family has been told of his death, according to the Anchorage Police Department.

Officers and medics responded to accident scene around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Medics pronounced Place dead at the scene.

A preliminary investigation has found a 49-year-old woman was driving an SUV northbound on Seward Highway when her vehicle struck Place, who was walking in the roadway, police said.

APD communications director Jennifer Castro said investigators are still pinpointing where Place was in the roadway. It’s unclear whether he was using a crosswalk or had right of way, she said...

Jerzy Shedlock

Anchorage police are investigating a fatal collision Wednesday afternoon between a vehicle and pedestrian at Benson Boulevard and the Seward Highway.

Police and medics responded to the scene around 1:30 p.m., where an unidentified pedestrian was declared dead, said Anchorage Police Department communications director Jennifer Castro.

Commuters were initially asked to avoid the area as police shut down lanes on both roads while they investigated. All lanes were reopened around 4 p.m.

Castro said Wednesday afternoon that a state medical examiner took possession of the body and will conduct an autopsy. The pedestrian's name likely will be made public on Thursday, she said.

No charges or citations have been issued, Castro said.

Jerzy Shedlock

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday three more suspects have been arrested in connection with the smuggling of pounds of cocaine to Alaska through the Las Vegas airport.

In August, an Anchorage federal jury charged three Las Vegas men for sneaking carry-on luggage packed with cocaine from Nevada to Alaska since 2012.

The new defendants are 46-year-old Clarence Anthony Hatton, aka “C-Money,” of Henderson, Nevada; 35-year-old Michael Vontrell Langdon, aka “Money Mike,” of Renton, Washington; and 38-year-old Antonio Demetrius Beckwith, aka “Twin,” of Anchorage.

They join accused co-conspirators Daren D. Cole, 47; Dewane E. Blue, 37; and Bryan M. Bledsoe, 36...

Jerzy Shedlock