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Murder trial opens in 2012 Anchorage stabbing

Casey Grove
Superior Court Judge Kevin Saxby addresses attorneys during opening arguments in the Tidiane Kone murder trial on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at Nesbett Courthouse.
Erik Hill
Tidiane Kone is arraigned in the Anchorage Jail courtroom on Thursday, August 30, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Assistant District Attorney Katholyn Runnels delivers the opening statement for the prosecution as the Tidiane Kone murder trial gets under way on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at Nesbett Courthouse.
Erik Hill
Defendant Tidiane Kone confers with public defender Marcelle McDannel as his murder trial gets under way on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at Nesbett Courthouse. Kone is accused of stabbing Adrian Beaver to death in August of 2012.
Erik Hill
Anchorage Police Department officer Chad Schaeffer describes the scene he encountered as the first responder to a 911 dispatch during the Tidiane Kone murder trial on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at Nesbett Courthouse.
Erik Hill
Public defender Marcelle McDannel delivers the opening statement for the defense as the Tidiane Kone murder trial gets under way on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at Nesbett Courthouse.
Erik Hill

A prosecutor says Tidiane Kone stabbed Adrian Beaver to get revenge. Kone's lawyer says he killed Beaver as a result of defending himself.

What was not in dispute at the opening of Kone's murder trial Tuesday in an Anchorage courtroom is that he killed Beaver on a Fairview street in August 2012 after some kind of altercation between the two men.

Kone, 32, had on an electronic ankle monitor that night, according to the original charges in the case. He was out of jail on bail, and the monitor tracked his movements from home to work and back.

It was on that route, within his allowed boundaries, that Kone killed Beaver, police said.

The events leading up to Beaver's death started with Kone seeing another man, Lovie Houston, whom he asked about getting some drugs, Assistant District Attorney Katholyn Runnels told the jury. She was not specific about what type of drugs Kone sought.

"Lovie sets him up. He says, 'I'll take you to a guy.' He takes him to Adrian Beaver," Runnels said.

But Kone and Beaver "had history," Runnels said. They fought, Beaver won, and he took Kone's money, watch and cellphone, she said.

Kone went home, to the Econo Inn on Fifth Avenue, and about a half-hour later decided to look for Beaver, biking up and down nearby Hyder Street, Runnels said. Kone wanted "street justice," Runnels said.

He found Beaver near 11th Avenue and Hyder. A witness heard him scream, "Where's my money?! Where's my money?!" Runnels said. An autopsy showed 15 stab wounds and cuts to Beaver's back, shoulder, armpits, neck and face, she said.

When Houston tried to intervene, Kone cut him on the neck, Runnels said. Houston told detectives later he only knew Kone by the name "T" and that the killer had ridden up on a black bicycle, police said at the time. The investigators found a bike lock and a cellphone near the scene of the stabbing, and the phone had pictures on it of Kone riding a black bike, police said.

Officers arrested Kone days later at Alaska Pre-Trial Services, when he came in for a urine test, police said.

Kone's lawyer, Marcelle McDannel, said her client had not meant to kill Beaver. And though he was looking for Beaver after their fight earlier, Kone also wanted to check on the ground to see if he had dropped his things, she said.

It was Beaver who pulled out the knife, and Kone suffered "a pretty significant gash" to his left hand when he wrested it away, McDannel said. Beaver kept fighting, she said.

"Mr. Beaver still presented a danger to Mr. Kone, even after Mr. Kone was able to disarm him," McDannel said.

Kone went through Beaver's pockets, then fled, McDannel said. As Beaver's body lay on the ground, someone pulled off his clothes, she said.

A medical examiner found a dollar bill holding a small amount of cocaine in Beaver's underwear, "which could explain where Mr. Kone's money went," McDannel said.

Kone had a right to defend himself after Beaver attacked him, McDannel said.

Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4343. Twitter updates: twitter.com/kcgrove.

 


By CASEY GROVE
casey.grove@adn.com