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Crime & Courts

Troopers: Pregnant victim loses baby, 3 more people arrested following violent assault near Wasilla

  • Author: Tess Williams
  • Updated: December 18, 2019
  • Published December 18, 2019

Three additional people have been arrested after a violent attack near Wasilla in which a couple was beaten and stabbed and a next-door neighbor was hit by stray gunfire, troopers said. Six people have now been indicted in the case.

Troopers said one of the victims was pregnant and has since lost the baby because of her injuries, according to an online alert Wednesday.

Three men beat and stabbed the couple near Sylvan and Hollywood roads just outside Wasilla on Dec. 5 because they believed the couple had stolen from them, according to charging documents.

The woman was found tied up in a pool of blood on the floor, according to charges. Troopers described her injuries as life-threatening. The man was beaten and repeatedly stabbed, according to the charges.

Gunfire hit a house next door and grazed the head of a woman sleeping inside, according to the homeowner.

Initially, 26-year-old Darin Smith, 32-year-old Peter Williams and 41-year-old Andre Franklin were arrested on charges of attempted murder, assault, robbery and kidnapping charges. Troopers said 20-year-old Abigail V. Thomas, 42-year-old Dhamma Karuna and 40-year-old Erick Hodgins were also indicted in the case Friday.

An additional charge of murder of an unborn child was added for all six defendants after the pregnant victim’s baby died from injuries, troopers said.

A spokesman for the troopers said he could not provide additional details Wednesday. It’s unclear what involvement Thomas, Karuna and Hodgins had in the case, although charging documents filed in Franklin’s arrest indicate an unknown “female with glasses and unknown male with a shaved head” were present during the assault.

The couple that were assaulted had rented a room from Williams, one of the six defendants, until about a week before the crime, according to charges. They moved out because Williams “displayed erratic behavior and was unpredictable,” the charges said.

The couple was attacked when they returned to the rental to pick up the remainder of their belongings, according to an affidavit. When they arrived, Williams, Smith and Franklin were at the home with an unknown man and woman.

The couple was beaten, bound and stabbed, charges said. The man eventually escaped after the attackers threw him in the back of a Chevrolet Tahoe and Smith shot at him as he fled, the charges said. That’s when a bullet went through the wall of a neighbor’s home, injuring a woman, according to charges.

Thomas, Karuna and Hodgins appeared in court Wednesday afternoon.