Crime & Courts

Man charged in string of violent robberies, home invasion in Mountain View

An Anchorage man is facing felony charges after he told investigators he struck a man in the head with a hammer during a series of robberies and assaults in the Mountain View area in September, according to a criminal complaint filed in the case.

Ieti Miracle Lelilio, 18, was charged last week with two counts each of first-degree robbery and assault, as well as seven other charges ranging from burglary to criminal mischief.

The case stems from a series of attacks by a group of men on the night of Sept. 16. The other possible suspects were not explicitly identified in charging documents, and the Anchorage Police Department wasn't able to provide additional information on the case Monday.

The first two victims in the case told police they had been attacked and robbed in the street by a group of four men. One of the victims, who was attacked near North Bunn Street, was hit in the head with a bottle and suffered a broken nose and wrist, while the other on North Bliss Street suffered a lip injury after being punched.

Just before 11 p.m. that day, a 911 call came in from the third victim, 72-year-old Donald Nelson. Nelson, a former audio engineer for Anchorage public radio station KSKA, told police five people were trying to enter his home, according to the complaint.

"Nelson was asking dispatch for help and told dispatch that he did not have any place to go," police wrote. "The 911 (dispatcher) later noted that Nelson stopped talking and there was banging noises like someone was being hit."

Arriving officers found Nelson unresponsive on the floor of his small log cabin.


"Nelson sustained injuries to his head that were bleeding," police wrote. "There was a hammer near his head that had blood and hair on it."

Nelson suffered a skull fracture in the incident, police previously reported.

Police found windows broken on one side of the cabin. Fingerprints and shoe impressions were taken from the cabin's Arctic entryway.

A witness who saw one of the street attacks that night told police he recognized one of the suspects, who lived in an apartment building on Parsons Avenue. Police identified four residents of the building who matched general descriptions of the robbery suspects, but the only fingerprint match from Nelson's home was for Lelilio, the complaint said.

In a Nov. 9 interview, Lelilio told investigators that on the night of the assaults he and four other people — whom he informally identified as SL, J, Leeky and Ramo — had been drinking alcohol, the complaint said. He said the group found the first victim near the Smoke King smoke shop, and the second was attacked near the Mountain View Holiday gas station, the complaint said.

According to the complaint, the attack on Nelson began when Lelilio pointed out Nelson's house and claimed a marijuana dealer lived there. Lelilio said he began knocking and kicking the door, the complaint said; when Nelson answered the door while on the phone with police dispatch, Lelilio punched him in the chest and knocked him down.

"(Lelilio) reported that the older man threw a hammer at him, which made him mad," police wrote. "He reported that he grabbed the hammer and hit the older man in the head two or three times."

The complaint said that the group took about $50 worth of marijuana from Nelson's home, which they later smoked with a pipe also stolen from the residence.

Lelilio was being held at the Anchorage Correctional Complex on Monday. A public defender was appointed to represent him Thursday, when his bail was set at $20,000 with a court-approved third-party custodian required for his release.

Chris Klint

Chris Klint is a former ADN reporter who covered breaking news.