Jerzy Shedlock

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The sentencing of Alexandra Ellis, the teenage driver accused of killing bicyclist Jeff Dusenbury in a hit and run that shocked the city, began in an Anchorage courtroom Friday, but is likely to continue into next week. About an hour before the sentencing began, Dusenbury supporters walked back and...
Jerzy Shedlock,Loren Holmes
The sentencing of Alexandra Ellis, the driver accused of killing bicyclist Jeff Dusenbury in a hit-and-run that shocked the city, began in an Anchorage courtroom Friday but remained unresolved as witnesses testified through the afternoon hearing. Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton said he would decide Monday when the sentencing hearing would resume. In the Friday hearing, an accident investigator hired by the defense suggested that Dusenbury was speeding on his bicycle and that Ellis' vehicle was barely moving. But Dusenbury's friends and family ridiculed those conclusions. Dusenbury had accumulated a broad circle of friends and colleagues through his biking and work at Food Services of America, and along with his family, some of them showed up for the hearing Friday. Dusenbury was 51...Jerzy Shedlock
A former country music radio station DJ was sentenced Thursday in Anchorage to two years in prison for distributing child pornography. James Laplante, also known as Jimmy O’Brien, worked as the morning DJ at KASH 107.5. Prosecutors said the 49-year-old shared the child porn using social media apps, sometimes while he was at work. The state argued that Laplante’s conduct was more egregious than the typical child porn defendant, while the defense emphasized his philanthropy and his admission of his crimes. The investigation into Laplante started when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children contacted APD with two “cybertips,” according to the charges. Anchorage police detective James Estes testified Thursday the tips are generated when social media companies come across images...Jerzy Shedlock
Six members of the Brown family, featured on the reality television show “Alaskan Bush People,” have been charged with Alaska hunting and fishing license violations related to their residency in Alaska. The Browns -- Billy, Ami and their seven children -- are characterized by the Discovery Channel as "a recently discovered family that was born and raised wild." The second season of "Alaskan Bush People" premiered on Jan. 2, setting ratings records when 3.1 million viewers tuned in, according to the Discovery Channel . The season finale aired July 24. Discovery Channel did not return requests for comment for this story. Citations for minor offenses filed in Glennallen District Court on Aug. 5 show at least six of the Browns purchased resident hunting and fishing licenses but failed to meet...Jerzy Shedlock
The former network manager for the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corp. faces 76 charges of possession and distribution of child pornography, state prosecutors announced Wednesday. Prosecutors allege Gene Geisler, 38, used the YKHC hospital’s network infrastructure to collect illegal materials. Geisler used his home computer to download images and videos, according to an affidavit filed in the case. Geisler allegedly sent pictures of child porn from Bethel to an undercover investigator working with the Alaska Bureau of Investigation in Anchorage, said Assistant Attorney General Adam Alexander. Geisler was still working for the consortium at that time, Alexander said. Geisler possessed about 29 terabytes of “child erotica or child sexual exploitation,” comprising at least 2 million images and 13,...Jerzy Shedlock
An Anchorage 18-year-old charged in the hit-and-run death of a well-known bicyclist used drugs and drank alcohol into the early hours of July 18, 2014, the morning of the fatal accident, according to the state’s sentencing memorandum. Alexandra Ellis’ parents made their daughter take a urinalysis test before they left for the weekend, as she’d completed residential substance abuse treatment two months earlier. Ellis, then 17, was left in the care of her grandmother but sneaked out and invited friends over to her parents’ empty home, the memorandum says. “Alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and MDMA were present at the party,” prosecutors wrote. Around 10 in the morning, Ellis was awake and decided to drive a friend home, less than a quarter-mile from her parents’ house. After dropping off the...Jerzy Shedlock
Federal authorities allege a 40-year-old Wasilla man abducted two young girls bicycling in North Pole on Aug. 1, only to return the girls to their home several hours later. Michael Bowen faces a kidnapping charge, according to a federal complaint filed Monday. The charges against Bowen indicate the girls weren’t physically harmed during the abduction. Prosecutors say North Pole officers responded to a home there on the evening of Aug. 1 for the report of two missing girls, ages 7 and 9. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner first reported the incident , but for several days afterward police declined to provide details, citing an ongoing investigation. The North Pole Police Department reached out to the FBI for assistance with its investigation, officials said. Abduction involving minors is a top...Jerzy Shedlock
A 25-year-old Anchorage man was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison for trying to kill a police officer responding to a domestic violence call, according to Anchorage District Attorney Clint Campion. Frank Sambrano was sentenced on charges of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree attempted assault, harassment and resisting arrest. Sambrano’s trial in January lasted six days. The charges stem from a June 20, 2014 incident when police were called to a home because Sambrano allegedly punched his uncle in the face, Campion said. An officer told Sambrano to go for a walk to “cool off,” but he refused, prosecutors said. The officer decided to arrest Sambrano for disorderly conduct, and the situation escalated, they said. “Sambrano was asked to put his hands behind his back, but he...Jerzy Shedlock
A bloody body was sprawled out on the floor as juniors and seniors from high schools around Anchorage searched for evidence at a crime scene. But this was no real death investigation, and the crime scene was staged -- the students had signed up for a week of exposure to the Anchorage Police Department. This was their final day. APD held the youth academy partly to offer the 29 high school students a glimpse at career opportunities in law enforcement. Discussions about recruitment at the police department got officials contemplating how young people view the police. More importantly, when are they first exposed to the idea of a career in the profession? “At what point in their education are they being exposed to (law enforcement) as a possible career? And when we really sat down and talked...Jerzy Shedlock
Anchorage police on Thursday afternoon served a search warrant at an Old Seward Highway office space occupied by Absolute Chronic Delivery Co . Police spokesperson Anita Shell said officers were in the process of serving the warrant at 4 p.m. but couldn't provide additional details. “That’s all I can say at this point,” she said. ACDC, a marijuana delivery service, has had property seized multiple times in the past month by police. ACDC owner Michael Crites said he wasn’t at the office when police served the warrant. Two receptionists were there, but police didn’t detain them, he said. Logan Cordell works at the electronic cigarette shop Legion Vapor, located below the second-floor office of ACDC in a South Anchorage mixed-business building. Cordell spotted police officers wearing helmets...Jerzy Shedlock