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Crime & Courts

Man attacked Gulkana woman with a hatchet while she was sleeping, troopers say

A 29-year-old man accused of attacking a Gulkana woman with a hatchet while she was sleeping now faces charges of attempted murder, assault and burglary, according to law enforcement officials.

The woman awoke early Wednesday to a masked man striking her in the head with a hatchet, Alaska State Troopers said.

The man was wearing a mask and the woman “stated he said nothing to her and (she) had no idea why she was being attacked,” Sgt. Wallace Kirksey wrote in a sworn affidavit. “She stated she thought she was fighting for her life and thought he was going to kill her.”

Her 14-year-old son grabbed a large knife, which caused the man to flee the home, the affidavit said. The woman called 911 just before 5 a.m., troopers wrote in an online statement.

Village Public Safety Officers and troopers were unable to find the man when they arrived, troopers wrote in the statement. A small hatchet was in the woman’s bed, the affidavit said.

She was brought to a medical facility for cuts to her head and hand that required stitches and staples, among other injuries, the affidavit said.

Surveillance footage from a nearby house tied Rodney Stevens’ car to the area, the affidavit said.

Stevens initially told troopers that he had been drinking and had not left his Glennallen home that night but eventually said he went to the Copper Center area, Kirksey wrote in the affidavit. He said he had a hatchet in the vehicle that night but it was not there in the morning, the affidavit said.

When a trooper showed him the hatchet used to attack the Gulkana woman, Stevens said it was his, the affidavit said. He had no explanation for why it was in the woman’s bed, according to the affidavit. Stevens is related to the woman, the affidavit said.

He was arrested on charges of attempted first-degree murder, assault and burglary. Troopers said the investigation is ongoing.