Crime & Courts

Utqiagvik teen charged as adult in the bloody, brutal slaying of his father

An Utqiagvik (Barrow) teenager has been charged with brutally killing his father at a home in the North Slope community on Wednesday, according to a criminal complaint filed in court.

Horace Kurt Simmonds, 16, faces one count of first-degree murder in the shotgun slaying of Bart Ahsogeak, according to the charges.

The case is being handled by prosecutors based in Fairbanks, where District Attorney Gregg Olson said Friday that Simmonds has been charged as an adult.

Olson said the two were in an argument at the time.

In a criminal complaint filed in the case, North Slope Borough Police Department Sgt. James Michels wrote that Simmonds had been arrested for first-degree burglary earlier Wednesday. He was released into Ahsogeak's custody about five hours prior to his father's death.

Police were called to the Stevenson Street home at about 10:30 p.m. A man there called police, reporting that "his son tried to kill himself with a shotgun."

Simmonds let arriving officers into the home, Michels wrote. Simmonds told Michels that "he was sorry," according to the complaint.

Ahsogeak was found "covered in blood" and dead at the scene. An examination showed he had been shot in the chest twice with what appeared to be a 12-gauge shotgun. Ahsogeak's throat had a fresh knife wound.

During an interview with police, Michels said Simmonds told investigators that he and Ahsogeak had gotten into "a fight over a shotgun."

"Simmonds stated he pushed his father down the stairs and then shot him twice in the chest with a shotgun," Michels wrote. "Simmonds stated he did not think his father was dead so he took a knife and slit his throat."

Detectives recovered a 12-gauge shotgun, two spent 12-gauge shotgun shells and a kitchen knife from the home, Michel said.

Olson was unable to provide further details on the case Friday, noting that the burglary charge against Simmonds was a juvenile-court matter and that there weren't any other witnesses to the shooting.

Simmonds was arraigned Thursday and is being held with no bail, Olson said. Simmonds was in custody with North Slope Borough police Friday, according to a statewide inmate database.

Chris Klint

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