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Relative of 91-year-old murder suspect says shooting an accident

Anchorage police investigate the death of 92-year-old Charlotte Marvin, found dead at a home in the Rogers Park neighborhood Sunday, May 14, 2017. Her husband Duane Marvin has been charged with murder. (Bill Roth / Alaska Dispatch News)

The grandson-in-law of Duane Marvin said the Sunday shooting death involving the elderly man's wife was an accident.

"We're trying to get the court and DA to see what happened here and get (Duane Marvin) home," said John McBirney.

Duane Marvin, 91, turned himself in Monday, saying he shot and killed his wife, 92-year-old Charlotte Marvin, in an upstairs bedroom of their Midtown Anchorage home, police say. He faces three charges in the death of his wife: first- and second-degree murder and tampering with evidence.

The charges against Duane Marvin say he shot his wife in the back of the head and then hid the murder weapon. During an interview with detectives at the Anchorage Police Department, Duane Marvin said he killed Charlotte but didn't know why.

He was set to make an initial appearance at the Anchorage Correctional Complex courtroom on Tuesday, but the hearing was rescheduled.

Duane Marvin, a 91-year-old World War II veteran who relatives say suffers from dementia, was arraigned in the Anchorage Correctional Complex court on Wednesday, May 17, 2017.  (Bill Roth / Alaska Dispatch News)

McBirney said Duane and Charlotte Marvin loved each other "very much." He described Duane Marvin as a military veteran and longtime Alaska bush pilot. McBirney came to the jail with his wife hoping to see Duane Marvin.

District Attorney Clint Campion said the defendant's level of mental competency needs to be determined.

Campion also said he plans to speak with the family to learn more about Duane Marvin. He said he could not divulge anything specific about Duane's mental health, but the state plans to request what's known as a competency hearing to find out if the defendant understands the charges and the court process.

Police told Campion the evidence suggests the shooting was an execution; officers also perceived Duane Marvin tampered with the crime scene, according to Campion.

Correction: The above article previously stated that the great-great-grandson-in-law of Duane Marvin made comments about his relative's alleged crime. John McBirney is the grandson-in-law of the defendant.


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