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Crime & Courts

Northwest Alaska man beat wife to death, charging documents say

A Noatak man is in custody after investigators say his wife was found dead Saturday in the northwest Alaska village.

Jim Virgil Adams, 41, is facing charges of first-degree murder and assault.

Troopers were contacted by the Maniilaq Health Center on Saturday afternoon and said the body of 31-year-old Rhoda Adams was found in 44-year-old Charlie Bailey’s home early Saturday. Jim Adams and Bailey are cousins, according to an affidavit written by Trooper Ron Monigold.

Bailey told investigators that Jim and Rhoda Adams showed up at his home in the early hours of Saturday to visit with him, the charges said. Both of them appeared to be intoxicated and the charges said Jim Adams later told investigators during an in-custody interview Sunday that he and his wife had started drinking Friday night while they painted the inside of their home.

Bailey told investigators the couple began to argue and Jim Adams left the house to smoke, charges said. When he came back, he was armed with a crowbar and the charging document said he threatened to kill Bailey and his wife.

Bailey stepped in front of Rhoda Adams to protect her as Jim Adams swung the crowbar in her direction, the charges said. Bailey was struck twice in the head with the crowbar, according to troopers.

“He had significant bruising and swelling to his face and head,” the charges said. “Charlie’s left eye was completely swollen shut and bleeding.”

Bailey tried to crawl out of the house and Adams struck him stab him in the back with the crowbar, the charges say. Bailey said he went to a neighbor’s home for help.

Bailey returned to the house with a health aide and they found Rhoda Adams’ body in a back bedroom, according to the charges. There were dark bruises and lacerations covering her body and the charges said Jim Adams was no longer at the scene.

Before her body was found, Jim Adams had contacted an air charter service about a flight leaving Noatak, investigators said.

During the in-custody interview, Adams reportedly told troopers that he’d fallen asleep Friday night and walked to Bailey’s house when he could not find his wife. He said he found the two sleeping and did not confront them, the charges said. He told troopers Rhoda was dead when he returned.

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