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Crime & Courts

2 charged with manslaughter now face federal gun charges related to April fatal shooting in Anchorage

  • Author: Tess Williams
  • Updated: July 23, 2020
  • Published July 23, 2020

Two people charged with manslaughter in a fatal Anchorage shooting in early April are now facing federal gun charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska announced Thursday.

Several people reported hearing gunshots near Seventh Avenue and Klevin Street in Anchorage’s Mountain View neighborhood around 9 p.m. April 4, police said in an online statement at the time. Roughly 20 minutes later, 27-year-old Ionatana Toa was dropped off at a hospital with life-threatening gunshot wounds, according to initial statements from Anchorage police, who said the following day that Toa died from his injuries.

Details about what happened that night were not available in state charging documents, and police declined to provide additional information because the case is ongoing.

Police announced the day after the shooting that they had arrested Rachel Torey Danielle Epperson, 30. According to state charging documents, Epperson, 37-year-old Adam Alan Blodgett and 34-year-old Angelique Aurora Petty all face manslaughter charges stemming from Toa’s death.

Federal prosecutors on Thursday said Epperson bought a 9mm pistol in mid-March — a couple weeks before Toa was shot and killed — from a licensed dealer under the direction of and on behalf of Blodgett, who as a convicted felon was not permitted under federal law to possess a firearm. Both now face federal charges of conspiracy and acquiring a firearm by deception, and Blodgett faces an additional federal charge of illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

Blodgett was arrested July 16, federal prosecutors said.

According to state charging documents, Epperson and Petty also tried to kill Blodgett, although details about what happened were not immediately available. Both women additionally face charges of attempted first-degree murder and third-degree assault in the alleged attempt on Blodgett’s life, federal prosecutors said.

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