Crime & Courts

2 men indicted in death of Anchorage woman in 2017

An Anchorage grand jury recently indicted two men in a killing that happened nearly four years ago, involving a woman who was run over by a car being shot at by one of the defendants, prosecutors said.

The charges are the result of an investigation that “took place over the course of several years,” according to a bail memorandum filed by prosecutors Friday.

On Aug. 9, 2017, police were called to the 3600 block of Oregon Drive in Anchorage’s Spenard neighborhood for a reported shooting, the memorandum said. Investigators determined that a vehicle fleeing gunshots crashed through a fence and into a building, and ran over a woman who suffered “significant trauma to the body,” the memorandum said.

The woman, identified as 48-year-old Patricia Phelps, died at the scene.

According to the memorandum, 52-year-old Shawn Michael Phillips had given Darin Lee Jones, 54, methamphetamine and a gun that day before telling him to “get his stuff back” from a person he had a disagreement with.

“Jones took a large shot of methamphetamine, got on Phillips’ black sport bike-style motorcycle and left,” the memorandum said.

Jones approached a Toyota 4Runner parked in a driveway on the 1800 block of West 36th Avenue and asked the four people in the vehicle about the man he’d been sent to confront, the memorandum said. Then he began firing shots at the SUV, the memorandum said.


“The driver of the 4-Runner ducked and drove forward to avoid being shot,” prosecutors wrote. The SUV crashed through a fence on Oregon Drive and into a fence and building on the 3600 block of Wyoming Drive, the memorandum said.

Phelps was walking on Oregon Drive and was run over by the fleeing vehicle, according to prosecutors. Six shell casings were found in the road but no one in the SUV was struck by gunfire, the memorandum said, and Jones left the area after firing shots at the vehicle.

The next morning, police were called to a residence on Waldron Drive, near Campbell Park, for a potential hostage situation, the memorandum said. Jones, who had been staying at the home, hit someone in the head with a hatchet and was arrested after a standoff with police, the memorandum said.

About a week earlier, Jones had left a residential substance abuse treatment facility after his roommate was stabbed, prosecutors said. He was being investigated for the stabbing at the time of the SUV shooting in Spenard, according to the memorandum.

Firearms found at the house matched the shell casings found near where Phelps died, according to the memorandum. Surveillance footage and witness statements also tied Jones to the scene, the memorandum said.

Jones was on probation after serving a sentence for second-degree murder. Phillips was convicted in 2019 for helping hide and burn a body about three months after Phelps’ death.

A grand jury on Friday indicted Phillips and Jones on numerous charges, including second-degree murder, manslaughter, weapons misconduct, robbery and assault. Jones also faces one count of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder.

Both men are in custody, the Alaska Department of Law said in a statement Tuesday.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at